The African and Middle Eastern PC market posted its third successive quarter of year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, but a slide in sales in 2015 is on the cards, according to International Data Corp (IDC).
The improvement in the most recent three quarters follows seven consecutive quarterly declines leading up to the second quarter of last year.
Growth in the fourth quarter of 2,8% year on year was spurred mainly by shipments of portable PCs and a return of a “semblance of stability” in some key regional markets.
“IDC’s data shows that portable PC shipments grew by 4,3% year on year in Q4 2014 to reach 2,83m units, while desktop shipments experienced much flatter growth of 0,4% over the same period to total 1,8m units,” IDC said.
“This growth was aided by a recovery from the instability that plagued parts of the region in the corresponding quarter of 2013, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East sub-region, where the bulk of PC shipments can be attributed to Iraq and Iran,” it said.
“The market’s growth was also spurred by several mid- to large-scale education deliveries that took place across the region in Q4 2014, with the largest being in Pakistan,” said Fouad Rafiq Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Turkey and Africa.
The top three vendor rankings in terms of PC market share remained unchanged for the sixth consecutive quarter. Hewlett-Packard retained top spot, recording strong year-on-year growth of 17,3%. The vendor maintains a notably stronger presence in Africa than the market’s other key players. Second-placed Lenovo once again posted the strongest year-on-year growth, with shipments up by an impressive 38,2% for the fourth quarter of 2014. Dell lost some ground in third position, suffering a year-on-year decline of 0,8%.
Asus ranked fourth and Acer fifth.
IDC said it expects the region’s PC market to suffer an overall decline of 3,9% year on year in 2015, with a total of 17,48m units to be shipped over the 12-month period.
Some country markets are expected to suffer in early 2015 due to currency fluctuations, including Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Nigeria.
“At the same time, the market’s performance will be hindered by uncertainty over the outcome of general elections in both Nigeria and Turkey,” says Charakla.
“And the recent rapid decline in global oil and gas prices will have an impact on almost all parts of the region, although the extent of this will vary from country to country. Nigeria and Ghana are expected to suffer the most, with PC shipments to these countries set to shrink around 40% year on year in 2015.”
In the longer term, IDC forecasts the PC market to remain almost flat from 2015 through to 2019. However, the gradual shift of PC demand from consumers to the commercial segment is expected to gather pace. This is because a growing portion of home users will switch from PCs to tablets and smartphones, while commercial end users are expected to remain more loyal to the PC, it said. — © 2015 NewsCentral Media