PC sales in Africa and the Middle East (AME) will decline by 2% in 2014, with sales remaining flat to slightly negative for the next five years, according to new research by International Data Corp (IDC).
This is despite a positive third quarter in 2014, when the market expanded by 2,1% in volume terms year on year to reach 4,26m units. The grow was spurred in large part by two significant education orders in Pakistan and the revival of the Egyptian market.
Growth on the third quarter was seen across both the desktop and portable PC segments, IDC said. Desktop shipments to AME increased by 3,6% year on year to 1,73 million units, while shipments of portable PCs were up by 1,1% to 2,53m units.
“The market overcame ongoing instability in certain parts of the region to maintain its state of growth in the third quarter of 2014,” said Fouad Rafiq Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Turkey and Africa. “For example, the Nigerian market was hit hard by the outbreak of Ebola, while the war-like situation in Iraq greatly inhibited shipments to the ‘rest of the Middle East’ sub-region comprising Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine and Afghanistan.”
PC makers also had to contend with a general slowdown in PC demand across the region due to the growing popularity of tablets and smartphones, said Charakla. “Indeed, an overall regional decline was only averted by the delivery of 150 000 notebooks into Pakistan’s education sector and the return of relative calm to Egypt, which saw these two countries become by far the fastest growing markets during the quarter.”
The three leading PC vendors in AME remained unchanged from the previous quarter. Hewlett-Packard continued to lead in market share, posting year-on-year unit growth of 14,4% for the quarter. Second-placed Lenovo continued to benefit from strong consumer demand and was again the fastest growing major PC vendor in the region, increasing its shipments by 58,2% year on year. Third-ranked Dell recorded 23% year-on-year growth, with one of the education deals in Pakistan serving as a major driver of sales.
Despite this, IDC expects the AME PC market to shrink by 2% overall in 2014. “The market will remain close to flat over the coming five years, and may even experience some minor declines, with demand for both desktops and portable PCs continuing to slow in many parts of the region. However, a number of underpenetrated markets — including Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria and some smaller African countries — will continue to experience growth, preventing the overall region from experiencing any significant declines.” — © 2014 NewsCentral Media