Middle East and Africa PC shipments bog down

Drops 9.6% in Q1, caused by high inventories, currency fluctuations and oil price.

By Abdul Basit (chief Reporter)

Published: Mon 15 Jun 2015, 11:12 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:06 PM

Dubai — The Middle East and Africa PC market suffered a year-on-year decline of 9.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2015 for numerous reasons, starting from high inventory levels to currency fluctuations — and on top of that lower oil prices — this was revealed by IDC in its latest report on Sunday.

The research and advisory firm further showed that portable PC shipments declined 9.4 per cent to 2.7 million units, while desktop shipments fell 10 per cent to 1.6 million units. Total PC shipments reached 4.3 million during the March quarter of the year, it added.

“Currency fluctuations were one of the main causes of the market’s decline slowdown, with key markets such as Nigeria, Turkey, Egypt, and Algeria all being hit,” said Fouad Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC.

“Low oil prices have also had a negative impact on almost all parts of the region, with the extent varying from country to country. Inventory pile-ups from the previous quarter also caused the Turkey market to decline faster year on year, while ongoing political and social unrest in parts of the ‘Rest of Middle East’ sub-region compounded the decline for the MEA as a whole.”

The study showed that the top three vendor positions in the region remained unchanged, with each of the top three vendors experiencing annual growth despite the market’s significant overall decline.

HP continued to lead in terms of market share, growing 6.5 per cent year-on-year, while Lenovo maintained second position with a growth of 5.3 per cent. Third-placed Dell’s shipments were up 3.5 per cent over the same period, while fourth-placed Toshiba suffered a considerable downturn of 34.3 per cent. Rounding out the top five, Asus posted a year-on-year decline of 7.2 per cent.

The segment of market players to suffer the most were local desktop assemblers, as they faced stiff competition from multinational PC brands and, more importantly, the refurbished PC market in many parts of the region.

For 2015 as a whole, IDC expects the MEA PC market to decline 4.8 per cent year on year to total 17.3 million units.

“Aside from currency fluctuations, one of the most significant market inhibitors will be the high PC inventory levels held by the region’s channels,” said Charakla. “While this inhibitor was primarily only felt in Turkey during Q1 2015, the impact is now expected to extend to many other parts of the region, including the UAE and the ‘Rest of Middle East’ sub-region. Additionally, the devaluation of some major international currencies, such as the euro and rouble, will continue to negatively impact PC demand in the MEA through reduced international trade and tourism from the affected regions.”

In the longer run, IDC expects the MEA PC market to remain almost flat between 2015 and 2019. However, there will be a gradual shift in the weight of demand from consumers to the commercial segment as a growing proportion of home users switch from PCs to tablets and smartphones and commercial end users maintain their loyalty towards PCs.


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