Laptop makers bet big on gamers

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Laptop makers bet big on gamers
Professional gamers and youngsters are driving demand for laptops.

dubai - Gaming laptops are the second best performing category in electronic sales

By Waheed Abbas

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Published: Tue 26 Sep 2017, 6:11 PM

Last updated: Tue 26 Sep 2017, 8:19 PM

The gaming segment is driving demand for laptops, mostly from professional gamers and the younger generation, say industry executives.

According to Rajat Rallan, cycle strategist for EMEA emerging markets at Dell, the gaming laptop category has grown year on year by up to 20 per cent.

"Gaming [laptops] is positive in our industry because of innovations happening in this segment, with demand coming from professional gamers who are mainly buyers of high-end products. A lot of customers who were not able to purchase high-end machines can now opt for entry-level gaming devices due to affordability as other players are also coming into this category," he said. These mid-range devices offer high specifications that gamers need such as graphics, processors, screen quality and reliability.

He noted that the majority of customers are students or people in their early 20s.

Nadeem Khanzadah, head of omni-channel retail at Jumbo Group, and Nilesh Khalkho, CEO of Sharaf DG, said gaming laptops were the second best performing category in electronic sales after smartphones.

Narayanan Venkataraman, head of personal systems for the Middle East and Saudi Arabia at HP, said the market has bottomed out in the region. It is starting to stabilise and should see single-digit growth going into 2018, he added.

Global technology consultancy firm IDC said in its second-quarter report that notebook sales witnessed strong sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

According to Amazon.com, gaming laptop prices are as low as $897 for MSI GL62M, $719 for Asus FX554014 and $634 for Inspiring 5000 Series. The prices go as high as $4,599 for MSI GT83VR and $8,999 for Acer Predator 21X.

According to Rallan, Inspiron gaming laptop prices range from Dh4,500 and go up to Dh6,000 while Alienware gaming laptops start from over Dh7,000 and go up to Dh32,000.

"We witnessed a decline in sales till the first half of this year but now, there is stabilisation in the market. By the beginning of next year, we will see industry growth in the Middle East. The average selling price is still going up because customers are buying mid to high-end products," Rallan added.

Venkataraman said the average price of products has gone up as people are willing to pay extra for a sleek product with good features.

"Consumers and enterprise customers are looking at products that are light weight, have a longer battery life and are durable. Convertibles are gaining traction. The next big thing is gaming. The gaming segment - both desktops and laptops - will see 21 per cent growth worldwide," he added.

- waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com



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