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Africa: PC sales are in trouble

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According to the latest results released by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Personal Computer (PC) market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) are in a bit of trouble, as it continued to decline in sales the fourth quarter of 2013.

PC sales see strong decline. (image credit: computer aid international)
PC sales see strong decline. (image credit: computer aid international)

The report revealed that shipments in Africa and the Middle East declined 14.3% to a total of 4.5 million units, while shipments of portable PCs declined at a rate of 18.2% year on year to total 2.7 million units. For the same period, desktop shipments declined 7.8% to 1.8 million.

“End users in the MEA region continue to opt for enhanced mobility, shifting to sleeker, lighter and smaller devices with longer battery lives,” says Fouad Rafiq Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

“As a result, the shift from desktops to portable PCs and from portable PCs to tablets and smartphones continues apace. Furthermore, even within the portable PC segment, there is a notable shift underway from traditional notebooks to convertible notebooks and ultraslim notebooks.”

A reason cited for the decline, is that ultraslim and convertible notebook are being made available in a wider range and fostering growing competition.

“The share of PCs with touch interface also continues to grow, especially within the consumer segment,” continues Charakla. “A major contributory factor to this is that Microsoft’s latest operating system requires a device with a touch interface to enable end users to reap the best possible user experience.”

The IDC also states that there has been a bigger shift towards mobility.

“The shift towards mobility caused all key markets across the region to experience significant year-on-year declines in PC shipments during the Q4 2013. Additionally, Turkey was negatively impacted by its weaker currency, making imported PCs more expensive for end users, while the Saudi market continued to suffer from recent labor law changes that have resulted in the deportation of millions of expat residents, creating labor supply shortages and ratcheting up the cost of labor,” they concluded.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor

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