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Ramadan will ‘affect Africa’s PC shipment in Q2 2016’

Ramadan will ‘affect Africa’s PC shipment in Q2 2016’

Fouad Charakla, Senior Research Manager at IDC says PC shipment to Middle East and Africa will experience a ‘soft decline’ during the holy month of Ramadan, which started this week.

Charakla disclosed this amid the 25.9% year-on-year decline in shipments in the region at the end of  first quarter of this 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,”Mr Charakla said in the latest PC shipment report from the research of information technology company.

According to the report, 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.

Despite experiencing a year-on-year decline of 25.9% in shipments in Q1 2016, HP remained the market leader, securing the highest market share ever attained by a PC vendor in the region t over the past 10 years

IDC says that similar to previous quarters, the positions of the top three vendors remained unchanged in Q1 2016 as Lenovo remained second behind HP after registering 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, according to IDC.

Display of different PCs
Display of different PCs

The report however  says 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.

According to Charakla, “All the largest markets in the region declined in Q1 2016, 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 ongoing 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 decline.”

“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”.

The report reveals that 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, the report concludes that commercial demand for PCs in the region is expected to surpass that of home users by 2018, the report says.

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Donatus Anichukwueze Technology Writer at Technology Times Media e-mail: donatus.anichukwueze@technologytimes.ng