Middle East PC sales expand in 1Q 2003 despite war concerns
PC shipments in the Arab Middle East reached 324,894 units in the first quarter of 2003, up 5.6 percent year-on-year. Across the different form factors, desktops declined by 0.8 percent, while notebooks and PC servers grew at 59.1 percent and 12.3 percent respectively, revealed the latest available data from IDC Middle East North Africa (MENA) .
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), IDC's latest data on first quarter 2003 shipments indicate that PC sales grew 20.3 percent year-on-year, to reach 55,971 units. This growth reflects that the tense situation in the Middle East had minimum affect on the PC market. Indeed, expansion occurred across all form factors, with desktops growing at 20.8 percent, notebooks at 15.1 percent and PC servers at 50.5 percent.
"Growth was mainly driven by an increased demand from the evolving small and medium-sized business segment", commented IDC MENA Research Analyst, Omar Shihab. Furthermore, IDC detected an interesting trend with regards to channels stocking up on PCs due to an anticipated supply shortage and higher airfreight costs. The rescheduled Dubai shopping festival also influenced the market positively, mostly for portable PC sales.
In contrast, the Saudi PC market exhibited a decline in shipments of 10.7 percent year-on-year during the first quarter 2003 to total 71,949 units. IDC research indicates however, that this trend stems mainly from unusually large projects implemented in the first quarter of 2002, involving the deliveries of several thousand desktop PCs to select government institutions in the Kingdom.
Consequently, sales of desktop PCs in the first three months of the year declined just over 20 percent, while notebook PC shipments expanded by 47.4 percent. Deliveries of PC Servers in Saudi Arabia more than doubled In the first quarter of 2003, thanks mainly to large project implementations carried out for Saudi Aramco, as well as, ongoing replacement cycles for several customers in the country.
IDC believes that the war in Iraq had a minimal effect on PC shipments, at least during early first quarter 2003. Latest estimates indicate that PC sales in the UAE and Saudi Arabia will expand by a modest 6.1 percent and 3.9 percent in the second quarter of the year, respectively. "This growth is very much in line with IDC's initial forecasts –highlighting increased confidence levels among decision makers in both these markets", commented Regional Director of IDC MENA, Jyoti Lalchandani. IDC is confident that PC sales in the Middle East region will exhibit solid growth in the current year. — (menareport.com)
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