Demand for PCs declining amid growing popularity of tablets

Thursday 24 January 2013

Abdulaziz Al-Helail, the managing director of IDC Saudi Arabia, said that demand for personal computers (PCs) declined 25 percent against the same period last year, according to a report released by a local newspaper. "The PCs market across the Middle East has suffered from an annual decline of distribution with a margin of 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012," he said.

He further elaborated that total shipments to Jeddah amounted to 5.3 units, with shares of two million for office computers, which represents an annual decrease of 3.7 percent, against a growth of 1.3 percent for laptops, amounting to 3.3 million units of shipments. Despite the efforts of companies that produce office computers, the report by IDC said that the increasing demand on laptops from consumers and the commercial sector alike, has led to a decrease in the demand for office computers.

The growing popularity of tablets in the region has led to a sluggish demand on laptops, according to the report, as the fourth quarter of 2012 witnessed the largest decline compared with the previous three quarters of the same year. Commenting on the same issue, Fuad Rafiq Sherqlah, IDC research manager for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey said, "The increasing confidence in tablets among users prolonged the energizing cycle of laptops." He added that the failure of ultra-slim laptops in the markets is a result of their high prices. "This, and the poor response to "Windows 8" operating system of Microsoft, led to the sluggish demand on PCs."

The shipment of notebooks to the region declined as indicated in the report, due to the increasing demand on tablets, which are less expensive in price. The markets in the UAE and Saudi Arabia saw a decline in PC shipments, however the decline in Saudi Arabia was sharper, with consumers driving forward the demand on tablets. On the other hand, the Turkish market witnessed a rise in demand as companies pumped huge shipments there, which made Turkey restore its position as the largest market for PCs in the region.

The share of companies producing PCs varied, as the report indicated that HP witnessed an annual growth of 32.7 percent, shipping 1.1 million units in the fourth quarter of last year, backed by increasing demand from both consumers and businesses. DELL ranked in the second place, recording a 26.6 percent market share. Meanwhile, China's Lenovo continued its growth, raising its shipments to the Middle East and Africa to 51.2 percent. The report indicated that Acer ranked fourth with a decline of 3.2 percent annually, followed by Toshiba with 1.6 percent.

© Arab News 2013


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