Economy, Sci & Tech

PC Sales Decline in Middle East, Africa

PC Sales Decline in Middle East, AfricaPC Sales Decline in Middle East, Africa

Demand for computers is at record lows in the Middle East and Africa region, according to a new regional sales report.

On Sunday, the International Data Corporation said the region’s PC market declined 25.6% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2015.

The research firm added that this is the “steepest decline ever recorded in the region for single quarter”.

The IDC said overall PC shipments for the quarter fell to 3.3 million units. Desktop shipments fell 21.2% year-on-year to 1.4 million units, while the notebook segment shrank 28.6% to total 1.9 million units.

"Two of the biggest declines were seen in Turkey and the 'Rest of the Middle East' region which primarily includes Iran," said Fouad Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey.

"Both these territories carried over high inventory levels from the previous quarter as a result of a slowdown in demand.

“This factor was an inhibitor of PC shipments in other parts of the region as well, including the United Arab Emirates. Currency fluctuations also had a negative impact on supply and demand in several key markets across the region."

In addition, the IDC said 2015 is set to be the region’s worst year for PC shipments, which are expected to fall 15.7% year-on-year to 15.2 million units.

The IDC explained key reasons for this free fall.

"Currency fluctuations both inside and outside the MEA region will remain largely responsible for the slower demand, particularly in key markets such as Turkey and Nigeria," said Charakla.

"Low oil prices are also impacting those countries whose budgets rely strongly on oil revenues, ratcheting up the pressure on governments to control their spending."

Charakla added that the “cannibalization of PC demand by tablets and smartphones continues to hamper the market's performance".

However, the IDC said demand for PCs is expected to pick up in the region, at least for next year.

“In the longer run, IDC expects the MEA PC market to experience a partial recovery in 2016, with shipments tipped to grow 10% year-on-year during those 12 months,” said the research firm.

The recovery in the market will likely come from computer buyers replacing their older units with smaller lighter models. The regional trends, according to IDC, follow wider trends internationally as smartphones continue to replace computers for most digital tasks.