In its latest quarterly Personal computing devices (PCD) report, global technology research and consulting firm International Data Corporation (IDC) has noted that PCD market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region suffered a decline of -7.3% year-on-year in Q2 2017.
According to IDC, the firm’s Quarterly PCD Tracker for Q2 2017 shows that PCD shipments, which is made up of desktops, notebooks, workstations, and tablets, fell to around 6 million units for the quarter under review.
IDC’s senior research manager for client devices in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, Fouad Charakla noted that the Q2 market followed similar pattern to recent quarters, with the downturn primarily stemming from a decline in shipments of slate tablets and desktops.
“This was the result of desktop users increasingly switching to mobile devices such as notebooks or even refurbished notebooks, while users of slate tablets shifted to smartphones. These trends translated into year-on-year declines of -21.9% for desktops and -15.7% for slate tablets in Q2 2017, while shipments of notebooks and detachable tablets increased 11.0% and 63.3%, respectively over the same period.”
Charakla pointed out that market sentiment in the MEA region remained low overall, although an aggressive push from some slate tablet vendors meant the market declined much slower than expected.
“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.”
Looking at the region’s key markets, IDC’s research shows that when compared to Q2 2016 overall PCD shipments were down -11.4% in the UAE, -8.9% in Turkey, and -6.7% in the ‘Rest of Middle East’ sub-region (comprising Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, and Afghanistan). South Africa and Saudi Arabia dodged this trend, recording year-on-year increases of 3.5% and 9.6%, respectively.
A massive education delivery in Pakistan acted as a key driver for notebook shipments in the region overall. Similarly, the education sector was the biggest driver of detachable tablet shipments, triggered by a huge delivery in Kenya, as well as two other deliveries in Pakistan and Turkey, which enabled this category to achieve the fastest growth of all the PCD categories.
“While a component shortage prevented market players from reducing their prices too much, the average price of consumer notebooks experienced a considerable year-on-year decline in Q2 2017,” says Charakla. “This played a key role in driving demand from the consumer segment, and was reflected in the growing popularity of lower-priced notebook models.”
Looking at the PC market’s vendor rankings, each of the top five vendors maintained their respective positions compared to the previous quarter, with the top four all gaining share.
Although Samsung continued to lead the tablet market, the vendor rankings in the space saw quite a few changes, with Huawei catapulting itself to second place. Lenovo also climbed up a position compared to the previous quarter, causing Apple to drop to fourth place.
Charakla still have some bleak news. According to him, the MEA PCD market is expected to decline at a faster rate than previously forecast for 2017 as a whole with technological shifts playing a pivotal role in deciding the future of this market, with demand for certain products shifting to other PCD products
“Accordingly, shipments of slate tablets are expected to continue declining over the coming years as demand is cannibalized by smartphones. Meanwhile, the ongoing shift to mobile computing will see growth in the desktop market remain close to flat throughout IDC’s forecast period ending 2021. Notebook shipments will experience very slow growth beyond 2018, while detachable tablets will remain the fastest growing PCD category, eating away share from other computing devices.”