After seven successive quarters of year-on-year declines, the African and Middle Eastern PC market has finally returned to growth, posting an annual improvement in sales of 2,2% in the second quarter of 2014 to reach 4,5m units.
The data, from research and advisory firm International Data Corp (IDC), shows growth in both the desktop and portable categories, with the former growing by 2,9% year on year to reach 1,8m units and the latter expanding by 1,7% to reach 2,7m units.
However, the biggest growth didn’t come from Africa. Rather, most of the growth in PC shipments came from markets such as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine and Afghanistan, despite no PC makers making any official PC shipments into these countries.
“The high volumes of devices seen entering this sub-region came as parallel imports through second- and third-tier resellers,” said Fouad Rafiq Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Turkey and Africa. “However, parts of this sub-region have recently witnessed increased levels of instability, particularly in Iraq, and demand is now forecast to slow down slightly as a result, although we don’t expect these developments to prevent overall growth for 2014.”
Other countries to experience growth in the region in the second quarter included Saudi Arabia and emerging markets such as Pakistan and parts of Africa, said Charakla.
“The healthy shipments seen in most countries can either be attributed to a recovery from instability — be it economic, political or social — or to previously low PC penetration rates,” he said. “Bearing this in mind, Egypt and Nigeria are expected to be among the region’s fastest growing PC markets in 2014.”
All-in-ones continued to gain share within the desktop space, spurred by growing demand from both the commercial and consumer segments, while ultra-slim notebooks continued to grow strongly within the portable PC space. However, convertible notebooks did not fare as well, primarily due to their high price points and tough competition from two-in-one tablets.
Hewlett-Packard maintained the highest PC market share in the region in the second quarter. It posted strong year-on-year growth of 26,1%, with the fastest growth in the consumer space. Maintaining its position at number two, Lenovo was the fastest growing multinational vendor in the MEA PC market, with shipments increasing by 71,2% year on year. Its strong performance was also rooted in the consumer segment. Dell maintained its position at number three, despite suffering a mild year-on-year decline of 3,3% following a weak performance in the consumer segment. Acer and Asus ranked fourth and fifth, with shipments rising by 15,1% and 40,1% respectively.
The region’s PC market is expected to experience yet another quarter of year-on-year growth in the third quarter of 2014, with shipments increasing by 10,6%. The delivery of two massive education projects in Pakistan will contribute to this growth. IDC forecasts year-on-year growth for 2014 overall at 1,6%, although demand is expected to remain close to flat for 2015 and beyond. — © 2014 NewsCentral Media