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After 19 quarters, MEA PC market finally grows

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The IDC says 5.3 million units were shipped across the MEA region in Q3 2019.
The IDC says 5.3 million units were shipped across the MEA region in Q3 2019.

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) personal computing devices (PCD) market, which is made up of desktops, notebooks, workstations and tablets, has recorded its first year-on-year growth in 19 quarters.

This is according to International Data Corporation’s (IDC’s)Quarterly PCD Tracker, which shows a total of 5.3 million units were shipped across the region in Q3 2019, indicating an increase of 5.5% in Q3 2018.

However, the report notes, while the overall region has seen improvements, key markets such as SA, the UAE and Egypt all experienced year-on-year declines in PCD shipments.

"The primary driver was the Turkish market, where a much stronger than expected recovery in shipments caused astounding growth when compared to the same quarter last year," says Fouad Charakla, IDC's senior research manager for client devices in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

"The Turkish market suffered tremendously in Q3 2018 due to the weakened Turkish currency against the US dollar. This caused the prices of all imported products, including PCDs, to rise significantly and thus inhibited demand. However, the market seems to be adjusting to the new reality as shipments are rising again."

Another key driver, according to the report, was a huge tablet deal delivered into Kenya's government sector made up of more than 150 000 tablets, primarily for the purpose of conducting the country's national population census.

Saudi Arabia also experienced significant year-on-year growth as shipments in the corresponding quarter of 2018 suffered drastically due to the implementation of new import regulations by the Saudi government around that time.

Nigeria was another driver of growth in Q3 2019, as the country continues its gradual recovery from the economic struggles it has been experiencing for the past couple of years.

The top three PC vendors cemented their positions after each recording year-on-year growth in their shipments: HP continued to lead by a significant margin, with Lenovo and Dell placing second and third, respectively.

In the tablet space, Huawei regained top spot as Samsung dropped to second place after experiencing a sharp dip in shipments. Apple maintained its place in third position.

Middle East & Africa PC Market Vendor Shares – Q3 2018 vs. Q3 2019

Company Q3 2018 Q3 2019
HP Inc. 29.2% 28.8%
Lenovo 21.2% 23.2%
Dell 16.6% 15.8%
Others 33.0% 32.2%

Middle East & Africa Tablet Market Vendor Shares – Q3 2018 vs. Q3 2019

Company Q3 2018 Q3 2019
Huawei 13.7% 14.8%
Samsung 22.5% 14.8%
Apple 9.6% 10.2%
Others 54.2% 60.3%

Looking ahead, the market's growth trajectory is expected to be short-lived, with IDC forecasting a 10% year-on-year decline in PCD shipments for the MEA region in Q4 2019.

“The main cause of this downturn is that there will be no repeat of the massive education deal that was delivered in Egypt in Q4 2018. Another factor is the weakening demand for slate tablets, as a growing number of end-users across the region shift their usage from slate tablets to smartphones,” according to IDC.

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