In line with global trends, the Nigeria Personal Computers market is expected to drop further in 2014 following the proliferation of smartphones and tablets in the country.
Our correspondent learnt that device manufacturers were already re-strategising in this regard.
Strong global and indigenous brands, our correspondent also learnt, were already adjusting budgets to give more attention to their smartphone and tablet divisions as against the PC.
Device manufacturers, which hitherto, had plans to produce or assemble only PCs, it was learnt, were already factoring in smartphones and tablets production or assemblage in their processes.
The Regional Director, Africa, Turkey and Israel, Asus (a global devices manufacturer), Mr. Shawn Chang, told our correspondent that from the firm’s statistics, PC sales dropped by 15 per cent in 2013, and was likely to drop again by another six per cent in 2014.
Contrary to this, he added that the global tablet market rose by 14 per cent in 2013, and is expected to rise further by 21 per cent this year.
He said, “The movement into smartphone/tablet devices as against PCs is a strategy that is aimed at averting impending crisis for companies involved in the business. We all have to go the way the world is going if we must continue to remain in business.”
Strong PC companies like HP, for instance, are currently driving investments in tablet devices to retain the patronage of some of their customers that would want to have the tablet experience.
Local PC brands like Zinox, for instance, recently unveiled its Z-Pad, which is a tablet built for the peculiarities of the Nigerian market.
The country had also seen the proliferation of other indigenous tablets like Bamboo, B-Pad, among others. These tablets, no doubt, will further eat into the struggling PC market in Nigeria.
On a broader scale, growth in mobility trend in the Middle East and Africa has continued to cause a decline in the patronage of personal computers as well as in the penetration of broadband Internet.
The PC market continued to experience a steep decline during the third quarter of 2013, decreasing 15 per cent in volume year-on-year, while the use of mobile phones and other mobile devices is on the increase, according to a research firm, International Data Corporation.
The results showed that PC shipments into the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey regions reached a total of 4.2 million units.
Portable PCs declined at a faster rate than the overall market, with shipments down 17.8 per cent year-on-year to total 2.5 million units, while desktops declined 10.4 per cent year-on-year with a total of 1.7 million units shipped.
This development further spells doom for the broadband Internet market in Nigeria and other African countries, where the broadband Internet penetration is strongly tied to PC patronage.
Internet Service Providers in Nigeria had attributed the success of their businesses to increased penetration. They had also called for a reduction in the prices of PCs in the country owing to the ‘still high’ cost of acquisition.
In contrast, according to the IDC, the tablet market in the Middle East and Africa grew 181.8 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2013, reaching a total of 3.2 million units.
Although Apple’s proprietary operating system, iOS, and Windows’ OS were contributors to this growth, the major contribution came without a doubt from the Android operating system, with a total of 2.39 million Android units shipped in during the quarter.
“We have witnessed a steady decline in the PC market as more and more people shift toward mobile devices, ranging from portable PCs to tablets and smartphones,” research director for systems and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Adriana Rangel, recently said.
“That shift has had a tremendous impact on PC shipments in the region, particularly across the consumer segment. The largest declines in PC shipments across the region have been in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey. While the UAE has seen a steady decline, the decrease in shipments has not impacted the market to any great extent,” she added.
The IDC’s research shows that the shift in demand from PCs to other mobile devices is expected to continue acting as the primary inhibitor of PC demand throughout the forecast period.
IDC is forecasting a further year-on-year decline of 14.4 per cent during the final quarter of 2013. The same period is likely to see PC vendors placing a growing emphasis on their lighter and sleeker portable PC offerings, including ultra-slim notebooks and convertibles.
HP maintained leadership of the overall regional PC market in the third quarter of 2013.
After suffering year-on-year declines for two consecutive quarters, the vendor finally managed to post a positive growth of 7.4 per cent during the third quarter of the year.