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Only professionals and gamers buy PCs in UAE

Industry is expected to suffer a fall of 2.87% this year

Gulf News

Dubai: The PC industry has reached a level where only professionals and gamers are keen to update their machines. The common man seems happy with his smartphone and tablet.

According to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), the PC market in the UAE is expected to fall to 1.35 million this year compared to 1.39 million last year, registering a year-on-year decline of 2.87 per cent.

Fouad R. Charakla, senior research manager at IDC, told Gulf News that it is just a normal industry trend. The PC market is saturated but gaming PCs have grown 30 per cent year on year in the first nine months.

“The notebook segment grew slightly while desktop declined. More people have moved away from desktops towards mobility. People are spending more time on smartphones and so PC refreshing cycle is getting longer,” he said.

Mahiuddin Khasru, sub-regional head at Asus, said that the market is definitely heading south as consumer confidence remains low. “Even though our year-on-year growth for the PC segment is flat, the gaming machines are growing fast — between 20 and 25 per cent,” he said.

But for Dell, the UAE market is growing 10 per cent year on year. “Overall, the industry decline has gotten slower this year. We expect the market to have bottomed out and see a rise in PC sales from next year. The growth will come from certain segments such as ultrathin laptops, PCs with detachable keyboards and gaming machines,” said Rajat Rallan, cycle strategist (consumer) — MEA, brand and category management at Dell.

Further growth

Next year, he said the market is expected to improve as the gaming segment is expected to see further growth.

Charakla said that consumer confidence is low as the cost of living is rising and people are not spending as they used to when compared to a couple of years ago. “We are not seeing a recovery next year also, apart from a big education deal next year. The UAE PC market is expected to grow by 2.1 per cent in 2018,” he said.

Moreover, he said the PC industry is lacking innovation and Windows 10 did not help drive the market.

Meanwhile, the tablet market in the UAE is also expected to take a hit this year. The market is expected to fall by 19 per cent to 1.24 million this year compared to 1.52 million last year. Next year, the market is expected to fall further by 7 per cent to 1.15 million units.