PC Market in Gulf States to Grow Over Next Two Years

Desktop and notebook computer shipments to the Gulf exceeded 1.6 million units last year, with anticipated continued increases. The “Gulf States Personal Computing 2006-2010 Forecast and 2005 Vendor Shares” report from IDC CEMA detail demand in each of the region’s countries.

Demand for PC and notebook computers in the Gulf Cooperative Council which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, increased 43 percent in 2005. Shipments reached 1.6 million units valued at $1.8 billion. Momentum in the region is expected to continue with forecast increases of 39 percent for 2006 and 25 percent next year.

Demand in the region is fueled by the government and education sectors.

Non-branded imports and local assemblers lost market share to brands like HP, Acer and Dell. In terms of both shipment volume and revenue, branded systems increased their foothold in the region from 79 percent to almost 84 percent last year.

Notebook shipments increased 75 percent in 2005, bringing total market volume for the category to 48 percent. Desktop shipments rose 20 percent; the category continues to outnumber its more portable counterpart. The tables may shift as users desire more mobile systems.

“The flexibility notebooks afford is now seen as essential to business in the region,” said Omar Shihab, research manager for PCs and systems for IDC’s Middle East and Africa office. “Small and home offices and small and medium-sized businesses in particular invested heavily in portables and will continue to do so, especially as wireless technology makes mobility a growing reality.”

The forecast and 2005 figures are derived from analysis and is based on information gathered from interviews with IT companies: vendors, distributors, assemblers, system integrators, value-added resellers and dealers in the Gulf States.

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