MEA tablet market bucks global trend

Dubai - Steady growth in the region's tablet market is largely driven by the strong performance of detachable devices.

By Staff Report

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Published: Sun 10 Jan 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 11 Jan 2016, 9:09 AM

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) tablet market bucked the global trend as it posted 3.3 per cent year-on-year growth in third quarter of 2015 as compared to 9.1 per cent worldwide decline over the same period, latest data shows.
International Data Corporation (IDC), in its latest 'MEA quarterly tablet tracker' report, said steady growth seen in the region's tablet market largely driven by the strong performance of detachable devices.
The IDC report further said that detachable shipments surged 167.1 per cent during July-September 2015 quarter and is expected to make up 10.2 per cent of the market by the end of 2019, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 62.5 per cent.
"Bigger-screen smartphones continue to cannibalise demand for slate tablets," said Nakul Dogra, a senior research analyst for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC.
"However, the decline is being offset by the strong performance of detachable tablets, which in turn are cannibalising demand for notebooks."
In terms of vendor rankings, Samsung continued to lead the MEA tablet market in July-September 2015 quarter with 24 per cent share on the back of year-on-year growth of 3.5 per cent. Lenovo placed a distant second with 13 per cent share and six per cent growth, while Apple retained its third spot with 10.9 per cent share despite suffering a year-on-year decline of 18.2 per cent. Fourth-placed Huawei posted exceptional growth of 215.2 per centand saw its share of the MEA market increase to 5.9 per cent.
"Stiff competition in the slate tablets arena has forced several vendors to cut their margins in order to remain competitive, keeping prices very attractive to end users," said Fouad Rafiq Charakla, program manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC.
IDC has revised its forecast for the 2015 MEA tablet market downwards, with a total of 16.65 million units expected to have been shipped over the course of the year, representing a decline of 0.3 per cent on 2014. "The primary reasons for lowering the forecast are the drop in crude oil prices and the political instability seen in several countries across the region, as this is having a negative ripple effect on consumer sentiment," Dogra said.
"Other reasons include market saturation in most countries of the Middle East and currency fluctuations against the US dollar, which is hampering demand."
"Government-driven education initiatives are expected to continue contributing healthily to the growth of the tablet market, particularly in regard to detachable tablets," said Charakla.
"However, with governments in certain countries cutting their budgets due to the prevailing economic situation, we can also expect to see a reduction in spending in the education sector over the coming quarters, especially in oil-dependent economies."

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