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MEA tablet market fell 5.8% in Q1

Samsung continued to lead the market in terms of shipments, despite suffering a decline of 5.5 per cent year on year to total 920,000 units.

By (Staff Report)

Published: Wed 24 Jun 2015, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:18 PM

Abu Dhabi — After years of posting successive gains, the Middle East and Africa, or MEA, tablet market recorded its first ever year-on-year decline in Q1 2015, with shipments to the region declining 5.8 per cent to 3.83 million units, according to the latest market insights by International Data Corporation, or IDC.

The consultancy blamed the poor performance on a sharp decline in the region’s biggest tablet market, Turkey, where shipments almost halved when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2014.

“The major reason behind the decline of the Turkish market was the discontinuation of deliveries for the massive FATIH education project, which had a huge impact on commercial demand for tablets in the country during Q1,” says Fouad Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC. “Currency fluctuations in Turkey, high inventory levels carried over from Q4 2014, and some saturation in the tablet market also had a negative impact on shipments targeted at the consumer segment.”

The three factors were responsible for slowing the market’s performance in other key parts of the region as well. Meanwhile, the devaluation of certain major international currencies, such as the euro and rouble, has also negatively impacted tablet demand in MEA as a result of reduced international trade and tourism from the affected regions, says IDC.

Samsung continued to lead the market in terms of shipments, despite suffering a decline of 5.5 per cent year on year to total 920,000 units.  Lenovo overtook Apple into second place for the first time, growing almost 96.4 per cent year-on-year after shipping 520,000 units.

Third-placed Apple continued to suffer, posting a sharp decline of 43 per cent to total 430,000 units.

The year 2015 as a whole will see positive growth, with shipments increasing 5.8 per cent year-on-year to total 17.66 million units. However, this represents a stark slowdown from the overall growth of 41.6 per cent seen in 2014.

“The reduction in global oil prices has caused a slowdown in government-driven initiatives in some of the region’s oil-producing countries, negatively impacting demand for tablet devices,” said Charakla.

“The decline in government spending has also had a ripple effect on other sectors across the region, and has also impacted demand from the consumer segment.” In the longer run, the tablet market is expected to continue growing at a healthy pace over the coming years, cannibalising some of the demand that currently exists for personal computers.


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