Notebook shipments to MEA slow down
The Middle East and Africa (MEA) PC market reported mild year-on-year growth of 4.8 per cent during the second quarter of 2012, with a total of 5.4 million PCs shipped into the region, according to preliminary results released last week by International Data Corporation (IDC), the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets.
Contrary to previous trends, growth in the regional PC market was primarily driven by the desktop form-factor, which grew 7.2 per cent year on year to reach a total of 2.2 million units. Notebook shipments, on the other hand, grew at a relatively slower pace of 3.3 per cent year on year, arriving at a total of 3.2 million units for the region.
One of the key reasons for this slow growth was the combination of high volumes shipped by several vendors during the first quarter of 2012, combined with a notable slowdown of demand from end users during the second quarter of the year. Certain vendors have also exited the second quarter of 2012 with high inventory levels among their channels.
“The slowdown in demand was experienced mainly due to a number of factors, including the cannibalization of PC demand by media tablets, especially in the larger markets, such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey,” said Fouad Rafiq Charakla, a research manager at IDC MEA. “At the same time, political instability also played a key role in slowing down demand in other parts of the region, such as Egypt, Kuwait and Bahrain."
Looking at the Turkish PC market in isolation, Asli Kockal, a senior research analyst at IDC Turkey, commented that the market experienced a slowdown in demand from both the consumer and commercial segments due to a number of outside influences. “Ongoing tensions in the global economic environment, the increasingly perilous European debt crisis, stormy economic conditions in neighboring countries, and persistent currency fluctuations all combined to negatively impact sales by forcing vendors to act cautiously throughout the quarter,” she said.
However, price erosion continued to be seen across most parts of the region, especially for notebooks, and this was accompanied by a greater shift towards entry-level models. This, in turn, enhanced affordability for end users and prevented the regional notebook market from suffering a drastic slowdown.
Despite suffering a minor slowdown in volume of 2.7 per cent year on year, HP continued to lead the regional PC market during the second quarter of 2012. Similarly, Dell also experienced a slowdown in shipments of 2.7 per cent year on year, yet maintained its position at number two. Recording strong year-on-year unit growth of 55.0 per cent, Taiwanese vendor Acer retained its third place in the rankings.
Investing aggressively in the overall region and ramping up channel operations, Chinese vendor Lenovo attained substantial year-on-year growth of 40.5 per cent to climb to fourth place in the MEA PC market. Notebook vendor Samsung maintained its position at number five, posting strong growth of 23.1 per cent year on year.
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