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Latest News
PC shipments plunge 11.47%
 
News From : DagangHalal.com (7/6/2009)

Dubai: Personal computer shipments across the Gulf fell in the first quarter of this year due to weaker-than-expected desktop sales caused by the global economic slowdown, according to industry experts.

PC shipments (desktops, laptops excluding netbooks) in the first quarter amounted to 874,447 units, an 11.47 per cent decline from 987,789 units during the same period last year. Out of 981,283 units shipped into the region in the first quarter, 199,835 units were desktops, 674,612 notebooks and 106,836 netbooks.

The total value of the sales was $869.63 million (Dh3.2 billion), a drop of 9.57 per cent compared to $961.64 million in the first quarter of last year.

"The positive side during the quarter was the growth in mini notebooks or netbooks. Netbooks contributed 15 per cent of the notebook sales. Some of the growth in the netbook PC market is a function of cannibalisation of entry-level notebook PCs, but the factors which helped propel the mini-note market initially - low ASPs and basic functionality - remain the key forces propelling growth," said Omar Shihab, Research Manager, PCs and Systems, IDC Middle East and Africa.

He said the Gulf has performed better than other regions. The hardware sector has been hit hardest in the IT industry.

The UAE market was the weakest, followed by Kuwait. Saudi Arabia and Egypt performed better than expected; consumer demand has not been affected much in these markets.

In the desktop sector, shipments into the region totalled 199,835 units in the first quarter this year, down 26.84 per cent compared to 273,149 units in the same period last year.

The total sales value of the desktop segment was $141.16 million, a fall of 27.25 per cent compared to $194.05 million in the first quarter of last year.

Kuwait was the worst hit in the desktop sector with a 52 per cent fall, followed by Qatar (43.42 per cent), Bahrain (42.50 per cent), Oman (38 per cent), the UAE (31.98 per cent), and Saudi Arabia (1.37 per cent).

"Before the crisis, desktops sales were coming from enterprise replacements, demand from small- and medium-businesses [SMB] and small government projects. In the first quarter, enterprises delayed their replacements. They can delay it for sometime after that they have to do it. But the replacement period is going to be longer. SMBs are the ones who immediately stopped the purchase during the crisis. They are the ones immediately hit," Shihab said.

In the notebook sector, total shipments into the region were 674,612 units, a decrease of 5.60 per cent compared to 714,640 units during the same period last year.

Qatar was the worst hit with a 32.35 per cent fall, followed by the UAE (18.15 per cent), Oman (15.67 per cent), Kuwait (7.17 per cent) and Bahrain (2.77 per cent).

Saudi Arabia and Qatar were the only markets in this sector to register growth despite the crisis. Qatar registered a whopping 32.35 per cent growth and Saudi Arabia 3.69 per cent.

Oman is the only country in the Gulf where desktop shipments outpaced laptops.

"2008 was a bumper year for the Gulf PC market as netbooks were introduced in the region in August by Asus. Compared to 2007, 2009 will be a better year, but when compared to 2008 this year will be very bad," said Swapna Subramani, associate research analyst, MEA region, IDC.

In the netbook sector, 106,836 units were shipped in to the region. The UAE was the leader in this segment with 48,908 units, followed by Saudi Arabia with 47,650 units and Kuwait (4,584 units).

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