The Middle East and Africa (MEA) PC market experienced a 25.9% year-on-year decline in shipments in the first quarter 2016, according to global technology research and consulting firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

Shipments to the region fell for the fourth consecutive quarter, to total 3.2 million units. Notebooks recorded a sharp 28.7% decline in shipments to total 1.9 million units, while desktop shipments registered a comparatively slower decline, falling by 21.4% year on year to total 1.3 million units.

“All the largest markets in the region declined in Q1 2016,” says Senior Research Manager, Fouad Charakla, Personal Computing, Systems, and Infrastructure Solutions, IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

“The reasons differ from country to country, but slowdowns in tourist spending, lower consumer confidence resulting from low oil prices, political and economic instability, currency devaluations, and military conflicts have all played a part in the regional contraction. The on-going shift in end-user spending toward smartphones and, to a lesser extent, tablets in the consumer segment was also a key element in the market’s decline.”

Similar to previous quarters, the positions of the top three vendors remained unchanged in Q1 2016. Despite experiencing a year-on-year decline of 23.4% in shipments, HP remained the market leader, securing the highest market share ever attained by a PC vendor in the region over the past 10 years. Second-placed Lenovo registered a slightly deeper year-on-year decline of 25.2%, while third-placed Dell suffered the sharpest decline of all vendors, recording a 28.9% fall in shipments.

Meanwhile, fourth-ranked Acer was the only vendor to experience growth in the region, with a 2.2% year-on-year increase in shipments.

However, the gap in terms of the market share of the top four vendors remains significant. In fifth place, Asus suffered a year-on-year decline of 7.3% in shipments during the first quarter of the year.

“With the approach of the holy month of Ramadan combined with the usual summer slowdown in activity, the second quarter of 2016 is also expected to record a decline in shipments, albeit a much softer one,” continues Charakla.

“In the longer term, the PC market is expected to recover to some extent in 2017, with modest growth anticipated in the following years. Shipments to Africa are expected to grow slightly faster than shipments to the Middle East. Some substantial desktop orders were secured by local brands in Egypt and Algeria during Q1 2016, and there were also a number of large education sector deliveries that took place in smaller African markets during the quarter, such as in Rwanda, Burkina Faso, and Ivory Coast.”

As highlighted in IDC’s previous forecasts, there will continue to be a gradual shift in the pattern of demand from consumers to commercial customers, as a growing proportion of home users switch from PCs to tablets and smartphones, while commercial end users retain a stronger loyalty to PCs.

The only exception to this trend will be the education sector, where commercial users will transition from PCs to tablets at a much faster rate. Despite this anomaly, commercial demand for PCs in the region is expected to surpass that of home users by 2018.

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets.

With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries.

IDC’s analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives.

Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research and events company.

IDC in the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey
For the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey region, IDC retains a co-ordinated network of offices in Riyadh, Casablanca, Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg, Cairo, and Istanbul, with a regional center in Dubai.

Our coverage couples local insight with an international perspective to provide a comprehensive understanding of markets in these dynamic regions. Our market intelligence services are unparalleled in depth, consistency, scope, and accuracy.

IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey currently fields over 130 analysts, consultants, and conference associates across the region.