Notebook demand gave international players an edge by lifting their profile and in 2005 they managed to increase their market share from just over 79 per cent to nearly 84 per cent at the expense of local assemblers and non-branded imports. Saudi Arabia and the UAE were the top two PC markets in the GCC in 2005, competing neck-and-neck in both shipment numbers and value. Saudi Arabia grabbed the top spot in PC shipment volume while the UAE was placed first in revenue. Kuwait ranked third in both volume and value.
"The UAE's commercial centres are still booming. Firmly rooted businesses are expanding and new firms are moving in," said Omar Shihab, research manager, PCs and Systems of IDC in the Middle East and Africa. "Although this has spurred demand in the Emirates, the Saudi market is actually growing faster overall."
Notebooks were the driving force of the GCC markets in 2005, with shipments shooting up by more than 75 per cent and accounting for 48 per cent of total market volume. Nevertheless, desktops still outnumbered notebooks in total — though just barely — and had a healthy year with shipments rising by more than 20 per cent.
"The flexibility notebooks afford is now seen as essential to business in the region," said Shihab. "Small and home offices and small and medium-sized businesses in particular invested heavily in portables and will continue to do so, especially as wireless technology makes mobility a growing reality." HP, Acer, and Dell took the top three spots in the overall PC vendor rankings in the GCC last year, both in terms of shipment volume and revenue. Together they were responsible for nearly 62 per cent of shipments and over 59 per cent of revenue. In the notebook segment, Acer grabbed the top spot in shipment number and Toshiba was first in revenue.
IDC expects demand for PCs in the GCC to stay strong over the next few years, with overall shipments rising nearly 39 per cent this year and 25 per cent the following year. Already outselling desktops in the UAE, notebooks will supplant desktops as the leading form of computer in the GCC sometime this year. IDC's 2005 figures and analysis are based on information gathered from interviews with the leading IT companies (vendors, distributors, assemblers, system integrators, value-added resellers, and dealers) in the Gulf.
When we choose to look away for good, we are as complicit as those at the helm of this atrocity
Over 100 people in Lebanon have been reported killed during the hostilities started on October 7