Tablets overtake portable PCs in MEA region

The size of the Middle East and Africa (MEA) tablet market exceeded the region’s portable PC market for the first time in the second quarter of 2013, according to new research from from the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The market intelligence and advisory firm noted that tablet shipments for the quarter were up 208% year on year, reaching a total of 2.79 million units.

The Android operating system was the major contributor to this growth, with two million such devices shipped during Q2 2013.

The uptake of Windows OS however, was slow during the quarter, primarily as a result of vendors shipping more Android-based tablets in order to gain market share in the region.

“The launch of the iPad mini could not prevent iOS from rapidly losing share to Android devices, with cost being a key factor in consumers’ choice of tablets,” said Victoria Mendes, a research analyst for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

“However, Apple’s new product launch, which is expected before the end of this year, will defnitely spur some growth for the vendor in the region.”

While Apple’s shipment total of 682,000 units for the quarter was lower than expected, the vendor maintained its top position in the rankings, followed very closely by Samsung, which shipped a total of 627,000 units.

Lenovo entered the market in third place, shipping 140,000 units. Lenovo, together with other Far-Eastern vendors like Asus, which took fourth place with a total of 107,000 units, and Acer, appear ready to increase their market shares given their competitive pricing structure, the IDC said.

“The growing cannibalization of PC demand by tablets has caused several multinational PC vendors to divert a larger proportion of their overall focus onto their tablet ranges,” said Fouad Charakla, research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

Education remains the main focus area for vendors in the commercial space, with various initiatives being launched across the region, the IDC said.

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Tablets overtake portable PCs in MEA region