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Middle East and Africa PC, tablet market to decline faster than expected in 2017

Middle East and Africa PC, tablet market to decline faster than expected in 2017

IDC had previously forecast the market would remain flat this year

The Middle East and Africa PC and tablet market is expected to decline at a faster rate than previously anticipated after a drop in shipments in the second quarter, according to IDC.

The research firm said shipments fell 6.7 per cent to 6 million units during the quarter primarily due to 21.9 per cent and 15.7 per cent declines in desktops and slate tablets respectively.

This was the result of desktop users switching to notebooks and tablet users switching to smartphones, with shipments for notebooks and detachable tablets increasing 11 per cent and 63.3 per cent over the same period.

“Market sentiment in the region remained low overall, although an aggressive push from some slate tablet vendors meant the market declined much slower than expected,” said Fouad Charakla, IDC’s senior research manager for client devices in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.

“At the same time, heightened competition has also made it harder for certain players to sustain their slate tablet businesses and generate profits, causing them to lose interest in the slate tablet market altogether. Despite this, slate tablets are still the most popular computing device among home users in the region.”

IDC had previously forecast the market would remain flat this year and return to growth in 2018.

Read: Middle East PC sales to remain flat in 2017

By market, the UAE saw the steepest decline in shipments of 11.4 per cent, followed by Turkey with 8.9 per cent and 6.7 per cent in the ‘rest of Middle East’ category – covering Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, and Afghanistan.

South Africa and Saudi Arabia saw increases of 3.5 per cent and 9.6 per cent respectively and there was strong demand for notebooks and detachable tablets in Pakistan and Kenya due to education initiatives.

However, Charakla said the average price of consumer notebooks declined significantly during the second quarter overall leading to the growing popularity of lower-priced models.

By vendor, HP continued to lead the PC market with 27.6 per cent share compared to 23.7 per cent a year ago, the firm was followed by Lenovo – up from 19.8 per cent to 21.5 per cent – and Dell, which saw its share increase from 16.3 per cent to 16.7 per cent.

Asus’ share increased from 8.7 per cent to 9.4 per cent and Acer’s declined from 5.9 per cent to 4.1 per cent.

In the tablet market, Samsung’s share dropped from 20.5 per cent in Q2 last year to 18.9 per cent this year. Huawei’s share increased from 11.2 per cent to 15.8 per cent and Lenovo’s share declined from 12.7 per cent to 9.8 per cent.

Apple’s share also declined from 9.1 per cent to 8.8 per cent and Alcatel’s increased from 2.9 per cent to 5 per cent.

IDC said the PC and tablet market was expected to decline as a faster pace than it previously forecast for the year due to demand shifting to other products and smartphones.

Slate tablet sales are expected to continue to decline as users switch to smartphones and desktop shipments will remain flat through the forecast period to 2021, according to Charakla.

Notebooks are expected to see slow growth beyond 2018 and detachable tablets are anticipated to be the fastest growing category.

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