Surprise as PCs make a strong comeback

Laptop. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Laptop. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town - Computers are back, ending a long, spiralling fall for nearly two years.

Most recent statistics have indicated that PCs have halted their nosedive, but in the last three months, the traditional computer has returned to growth, though it's early days yet.

"The Middle East and Africa PC market brought seven successive quarters of year-on-year declines to a halt in Q2 2014, posting long-awaited annual growth of 2.2% to total 4.5 million units," industry firm the IDC said on Sunday.

Interestingly, while mature markets have been racing to adopt smart devices, developing markets are proving to be the engine of growth for lower priced tablets, smartphones and PCs.

The largest growth in PCs was in the Middles East countries of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, and Afghanistan, though no vendors officially have distribution networks in those countries.

"The high volumes of devices seen entering this sub-region came as parallel imports through second- and third-tier resellers," said Fouad Rafiq Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.

Winners

In Africa specifically, Egypt and Nigeria are set for a growth spurt in PCs which Charakla attributed to two main factors.

"The healthy shipments seen in most countries can either be attributed to a recovery from instability - be it economic, political, or social - or to previously low PC penetration rates."

HP continued to lead the market in the region with 26.1% growth rate, but Lenovo is closing in fast. The company posted an impressive 71.2% growth as both companies saw success in the consumer market.

In third place, Dell saw a decline of 3.3%, while Acer and Asus made up the top five with growth of 15.1% and 40.1% year on year, respectively.

Check out this interactive chart on the growth in the region.



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