When it comes to the personal computing device (PCD) market – which is comprised of PCs, notebooks, workstations and tablets – the final quarter of 2018 ended with a five percent decline year-on-year for the Middle East and African (MEA) region.

This according to IDC, with the research firm noting that despite the decline for Q4, last year on the whole was quite good for the region in terms of shipments.

In Q4 2018, MEA’s PCD shipments totalled 5.6 million units during the three-month period.

“The biggest driver of demand in Q4 2018 was a massive delivery of over 600,000 tablets into Egypt’s education sector, which saw the overall MEA market outperform previous forecasts for the quarter,” says Fouad Charakla, IDC’s senior research manager for client devices in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.

“This deal helped prevent what would otherwise have been a sharp decline in overall shipments to the region. The regional market was also buoyed by the strong performance of PCs in Saudi Arabia and a significant notebook deal that took place in the UAE,” continues Mharakla.

Unfortunately the outlook for 2019 is far less positive according to the IDC senior research manager.

In fact they predict the entire year to yield 19.5 million unit shipments, with currency issues in particular cited as the main contributing factor, and Turkey especially viewed as having problems in this area.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, with IDC explaining that a number of large-scale education-related projects in MEA are awaiting the green light.

If these projects do get the go-ahead, it could have a significant impact on the number of shipments for the region.

As it stands now though, IDC has chosen not to include these in its forecast, as aspects such as timelines, funding and political will still leave a sizeable degree of uncertainty.

Even taking these projects into account, however, IDC still views the PCD shipment market as remaining flat for the next few years.

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