Increasing Adoption of Tablets and Smartphones Continues to Hamper Saudi PC Market, Says IDC

The Saudi PC market declined 7.5% year on year during the final quarter of 2013, according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC). The global research firm's most recent findings show a total of 442,818 units were shipped during Q4 2013. Shipments of portable devices slumped 16.9% over the same period to total 335,418 units, which is consistent with the global trend.

These declines were widely anticipated as the market is still recovering from the major declines suffered during the previous two quarters. "The major inhibitor to the PC market's growth in Saudi Arabia is the perpetually rising demand for tablets and smartphones across the Kingdom," says Abdulaziz Alanazi, a research analyst at IDC Saudi Arabia. "The lack of consumer familiarity with Windows 8 is also an issue, as the new operating system is installed on most new PCs, which is delaying many purchase decisions."

The government's Nitiqat program is also hindering progress in the Saudi PC market. The new legislation, which is aimed at driving increased Saudization within the labor market, has led to a shortage of labor, effectively increasing the costs involved in acquiring staff. This has led to closures of numerous businesses and the diversion of budgets away from PC purchases, further reducing the level of demand in the market.

The Saudi desktop PC market experienced a year-on-year decline of 19.0% in Q4 2013 to total 107,400 units. Desktop demand is driven by the commercial segment of the market, which did not see a high number of orders during the quarter, although some deliveries did take place in the government and private sectors. All-in-one devices continue to gain share in the desktop category, with consumers preferring these devices to traditional desktops.

On the supply side, Dell topped the Saudi PC vendor rankings in Q4 2013, thanks largely to the strong performance of its portable PCs when compared to the previous quarter. Dell is seeing a lot of deals materialize in the commercial space and performed strongly in the education sector during the final quarter of the year. HP secured second place in the rankings, posting a stable performance in both the commercial and consumer segments of the market. Toshiba slipped to third but still enjoys solid consumer confidence levels as a result of its strong brand name.

About the Research

The core of IDC's Europe, Middle East and Africa Quarterly PC Tracker® service is a comprehensive electronic database detailing changes and trends in the highly competitive PC market, covering vendors, brands, customer segments, distribution channels, pricing, processors, and PC product categories. Quarterly updates provide the latest information on the rapidly changing market for time-critical decision making. Built on the foundation of IDC's network of country-level quarterly PC tracking services, this service's bottom-up methodology delivers an accurate view of the PC market from those closest to it.