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The Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) region has retained its position as the largest personal computer (PC) market for the second year, logging a near-15 per cent growth over 2006 sales, even as projections for the next couple of years anticipate slower growth, according to industry trackers Gartner and IDC.
Personal computer shipments in the Emea region reached 92 million units last year, a 14.7 per cent increase from 2006. In the fourth quarter, PC shipments from the region totalled 28.8 million units, a 12.5 per cent increase from the fourth quarter of 2006, according to results released by Gartner.
“The Emea region accounts for nearly a third of the worldwide PC market, with the Middle East and Eastern Europe emerging as the two fastest growing markets in 2007. Within the Middle East alone, we are witnessing a 15 per cent to 20 per cent growth per annum,” Ranjit Atwal, principal analyst for Gartner’s Client Computing Markets group in Emea, told Emirates Business.
The growth in Emea market compares with a worldwide growth of 13.4 per cent, led by a 30 per cent increase in sales for US-based manufacturer Hewlett-Packard.
“The Middle East comprised about 15 per cent of the overall Emea market last year and this is likely to grow to between 17 per cent and 20 per cent this year. If the current growth rate continues, the region is well on course to sell more than 20 million units by 2010,” Atwal said. The Emea market is projected to log sales of close to 103 million units this year, according to Gartner.
Worldwide PC shipments totalled 271.2 million units last year, a 13.4 per cent increase from 2006, according to preliminary results by Gartner. The industry ended the year with fourth quarter PC shipments of 75.9 million units, a 13.1 per cent increase from the fourth quarter of 2006.
“Asia/Pacific took over as the second largest PC market during the fourth quarter. Last year’s market figures have shown a clear indication of the worldwide PC market landscape with strong growth in emerging regions such as Asia/Pacific and Middle East and slower growth in markets such as the United States,” he Atwal.
Rival industry tracker IDC also released preliminary figures that indicate shipments in the fourth quarter fared better, increasing 15.5 per cent to 77.4 million units, up from 67 million the previous year.
IDC reported that 269 million PCs were shipped in 2007, for an annual growth of 14.3 per cent.
Both Gartner and IDC see Hewlett Packard (HP) as the big winner of last year, topping both the global and Emea groups with slightly different market shares. Both Gartner and IDC say Dell, Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba take the next four positions respectively. In the Emea region, Acer was the second biggest manufacturer growing faster than HP at 36.3 per cent from last year.
Acer had 8.9 per cent share of the worldwide market for its third place up from 7.6 per cent in 2006, followed by Lenovo with a 7.4 per cent share and Toshiba with four per cent.
HP extended its lead as it accounted for 18.2 per cent of global PC shipments last year. The company experienced the strongest growth among the top five vendors in fourth quarter of 2007, as its shipments increased 23.3 per cent in the quarter.
“Robust consumer and mobile PC sales across all regions were the two main drivers of HP’s overall growth,” Atwal said. “HP has seen the best part of its growth cycle for the last 18 months. The vendor [HP] has a very strong presence in Western Europe, Middle East and North Africa. They are bringing one of their senior management teams to the Middle East,” Atwal said.
“HP has been replicating their ‘solutions-provider’ model from their successful markets to the Middle East and other growing markets.
Acer, meanwhile is a more volumes-driven vendor, but they are moving to an end-to-end business model,” Atwal said.
While Dell’s PC shipments grew just 1.7 per cent last year in part due to the company’s reorganisation, the company showed signs of a recovery at the end of the year as it registered positive year-over-year growth for two consecutive quarters. In the fourth quarter, Dell’s worldwide PC shipments grew 17 per cent, as its market share reached 14.5 per cent.
“Retail and channel partner expansion in several markets, including the US and Asia/Pacific contributed to Dell’s positive fourth quarter results,” Atwal said.
In the fourth quarter, Acer achieved solid consumer mobile PC growth in Emea and the US. Acer’s acquisition of Gateway’s consumer business is believed to have boosted the shipment volume. Lenovo’s worldwide growth also exceeded the average despite a lack or weak consumer market presence.
“Lenovo showed a relatively good performance in consumer sales in both Emea and the United States during the quarter,” Atwal said.
The US PC market grew 5.3 per cent in 2007 with shipments reaching 64.2 million units. The US PC market ended the year better than expected with shipments in the fourth quarter totalling 17 million units, a 7.2 per cent increase from the fourth quarter of 2006.
The results exceeded Gartner’s expectations. Mobile PC (including notebooks) shipments exceeded desk-based PC shipments for the second consecutive quarter.
HP exhibited strong growth on both desk-based and mobile segments.
TARGET MIDDLE EAST
Malaysian information technology service providers are looking to be the top outsourcing destination for businesses in the Middle East, according to an industry group representing more than 50 IT companies in Malaysia.
“What Outsourcing Malaysia represents is what companies in the Middle East are looking for today – competitive pricing, competent delivery, cutting edge outsourcing solutions and a credible alternative to other outsourcing hubs,” said Jeff Pinkham, CEO Outsourcing Malaysia, which claims to have more than 50 IT firms on its member list.
Outsourcing Malaysia recently signed a partnership with MSC Malaysia – the government accreditation arm for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies – to increase Malaysia’s number of outsourcing companies, create a sustainable pool of globally recognised professionals, create new jobs and increase revenues from ICT service exports.
The group says it is targeting sectors that require “the best of breed outsourcing solutions” in the Middle East. The shared services and outsourcing industry is a segment of the ICT industry.
ACER TO STRENGTHEN MODEL
Acer said it plans to strengthen its channel business model in order to expand the IT vendor’s market in Saudi Arabia.
In a meeting of senior Acer executives with the firm’s regional channel partners held yesterday, the company discussed its new products and partner-oriented growth strategy.
“Saudi Arabia is a very important market for Acer,” Krishna Murthy, General Manager of Acer Computer Middle East, said. “ We want to further empower our [channel] partners. With their help we aim to capture a significant proportion of the fast-growing IT market,” Murthy said.
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