The latest figures announced by the International Data Corporation (IDC) showed that the overall Middle East and Africa (MEA) PC market grew 2.8% year on year in the fourth quarter of 2014. They also project a decline in sales by 3.9% in 2015 due to currency fluctuations in countries like Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, and Nigeria.

The data that was released showed that portable PC shipment grew 4.3% to reach 2.83 million units in the quarter part of 2014 while desktop shipment rose by 0.4% over the same period to a total of 1.8 million units.

This notable growth was aided by a recovery from the instability that plagued parts of the region in the corresponding quarter of 2013, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the ‘Rest of Middle East’ sub-region, where the bulk of PC shipments can be attributed to Iraq and Iran,” says IDC report.

Fouad Rafiq Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Turkey, and Africa said that, “One of the biggest surprises of the quarter came from Turkey, where PC vendors shipped significantly higher quantities than a year earlier in fear of anticipated changes to import duties from the start of 2015. However, the consequence of this was that channels exited the quarter with high levels of inventory, which will inevitably have a negative impact on shipment volumes in Q1 2015.

The top three vendor rankings in PC sales remained unchanged for the sixth consecutive quarter. HP retained top spot with 17.3% growth, Lenovo 38.2% growth in shipment, while Dell suffered a decline of 0.8%.

Charakla further explained that, “Looking ahead, IDC expects the MEA PC market to suffer an overall decline of 3.9% year on year in 2015, with a total of 17.48 million units to be shipped over the 12-month period. Some country markets are expected to suffer in early 2015 due to currency fluctuations, including Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, and Nigeria.

At the same time, the market’s performance will be hindered by uncertainty over the outcome of general elections in both Nigeria and Turkey.

And the recent rapid decline in global oil and gas prices will have an impact on almost all parts of the region, although the extent of this will vary from country to country. Nigeria and Ghana are expected to suffer the most, with PC shipments to these countries set to shrink around 40% year on year in 2015.

In the longer term, IDC forecasts the PC market to remain almost flat from 2015 through to 2019.

Photo Credit: HPDeutschland via Compfight cc

Bolade Popoola Author

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox