The Middle East and Africa (MEA) PC market suffered a sharp year-on-year decline of 25.6% in Q2 2015, marking it as steepest decline ever recorded in the region for a single quarter. The latest market insights from global technology research and consulting firm International Data Corporation (IDC) show that overall PC shipments for the quarter fell to 3.3 million units. Desktops were down 21.2% year on year to 1.4 million units, while the notebook segment declined 28.6% to total 1.9 million units.
"Two of the biggest declines were seen in Turkey and the 'Rest of the Middle East' region (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Palestine)," says Fouad Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. "Both these territories carried over high inventory levels from the previous quarter as a result of a slowdown in demand. This factor was an inhibitor of PC shipments in other parts of the region as well, including the UAE. Currency fluctuations also had a negative impact on supply and demand in several key markets across the region. In the UAE, a slowdown in tourism spending – primarily from Russia and Europe – continued to inhibit PC demand."
The top three vendor positions remained unchanged from the last few quarters, with each of the leading vendors suffering significant year-on-year declines in their shipments to the region. HP continued to lead in terms of market share, but saw its shipments fall 26% year on year. Second-placed Lenovo suffered a 19% decline, third-placed Dell posted a downturn of 10.3%, and fourth-placed Acer recorded a decrease of 29.3%, while Asus maintained its position at number five but experienced a decline of 26.7%. Once again, local desktop assemblers suffered significantly in comparison to the previous year as demand for their devices continues to be cannibalized by the growing availability of refurbished PCs.
2015 as a whole is expected to be the region's worst ever performance, with overall PC shipments for the year set to fall 15.7% year on year to total 15.2 million units. "Currency fluctuations both inside and outside the MEA region will remain largely responsible for the slower demand, particularly in key markets such as Turkey and Nigeria," continues Charakla. "Low oil prices are also impacting those countries whose budgets rely strongly on oil revenues, ratcheting up the pressure on governments to control their spending. At the same time, the cannibalization of PC demand by tablets and smartphones continues to hamper the market's performance."
In the longer run, IDC expects the MEA PC market to experience a partial recovery in 2016, with shipments tipped to grow 10% year on year during those 12 months. The following years are forecast to remain close to flat in terms of shipment growth. However, as previously reported, there will be a gradual shift in the weight of demand from consumers to the commercial segment as a growing proportion of home users switch from PCs to tablets and smartphones and commercial end users maintain their loyalty to PCs. As a result, commercial demand for PCs in the region is expected to surpass that from home users by the year 2017.
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