Tough start for Tablet PCs in the Middle East
While the notebook PC market in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA) displayed growth of 19.5 percent with nearly three million units shipped in the fourth quarter of 2002, the first quarter of EMEA Tablet PC shipments began more slowly with just over 20,000 units shipped during the same period.
Despite representing the second strongest region for worldwide Tablet PC shipments, a number of factors hindered stronger performance in EMEA, reported IDC. Vendors began shipping Tablet PC products at different times during the quarter, affecting overall results. The first release of Windows XP Tablet Edition devices has been limited to a small number of early adopters and vertical organizations, such as insurance and healthcare, many of which were already users of tablet products.
With an average price in excess of €2,000, it is not surprising that initial Tablet PCs failed to resonate with potential customers at a time when the main mobile computing focus rests firmly on price and performance, and while the entry level segment continues to drive the notebook market.
According to IDC's most recent Survey of Business User Spending, which considers spending intentions for 2003, almost 60 percent of IT decision makers across all business sizes are not interested in purchasing Tablet PCs and almost 25 percent are not aware of the Tablet PC offering, with only a small percentage expressing a desire to purchase Tablet PCs in 2003. The launch of Intel's new Centrino processor may help to drive a stronger mobility message and focus greater attention on the importance of wireless roaming among information workers. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)