Education and Calmer Egypt Drives MEA PC Growth

PCs in MEA enjoyed 2.1% volume growth YoY to reach 4.26 million units in Q3’14. According to IDC, the result was boosted by two large education deals in Pakistan and the revival of the Egyptian market.

Both the desktop and portable segments showed an increase, of 3.6% (to 1.73 million) and 1.1% (to 2.53 million), respectively. Vendors shipped a growing number of Windows 8.1 with Bing notebooks; however, despite aggressive pricing (around $300), there was low demand.

Several factors caused instability in the region, which the market overcame in its advance to positive growth. These included the ebola outbreak in Nigeria and the fighting in Syria and Iraq. A general PC slowdown, due to tablet and smartphone popularity, also had to be dealt with. The above deals in Pakistan (for about 150,000 notebooks) and calming in Egypt avoided a region-wide decline.

The three leading PC vendors are the only multinational players to have maintained a stronghold in the region’s commercial segment. HP led in market share, with 14.4% YoY growth; Lenovo, in second place, was the fastest-growing vendor, rising 58.2%. Dell, with a 23% share, came in third place.

Overall, the MEA PC market is forecast to shrink 2% this year, and remain close to flat in the coming five years. Minor declines may be experienced as PC demand slows. However, a number of markets with low penetration levels, including Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria and some smaller African countries, will continue to experience growth.