Middle East and Africa (MEA) PC market grew 7.4 per cent year on year in the third quarter of 2011, according to preliminary results released today by IDC. A total of 4.7 million devices were shipped in Q3 2011, with notebook shipments up 15.1 per cent year on year to 2.94 million and desktop shipments down 3.3 per cent to 1.78 million.

HP maintained its leading position on the MEA PC market in Q3, recording strong year-on-year growth of 37.1 per cent, primarily driven by its aggressively-priced consumer notebook portfolio. Fierce competition from rival vendors prevented second-placed Dell from replicating the strong growth it posted in 2010, while Toshiba overcame supply issues that inhibited its performance in Q2 2011 to record a 28.6 per cent year-on-year increase in shipments, which placed it third in the vendor rankings.

Taiwanese vendor Acer slumped to fourth place after suffering a drop in shipments for the second consecutive quarter. Ongoing efforts to clear its pre-existing inventory of PCs in certain parts of the region caused the vendor to lose focus on boosting shipments, resulting in a 39 per cent year-on-year decline. Lenovo rounded out the top five PC vendors in the MEA in Q3 2011, with healthy growth on the back of heavy investment in its marketing capabilities and strong efforts to solidify its channel structures across the region.

“The PC markets of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt all exceeded expectations as vendors aggressively sought to boost shipments into these countries by targeting consumers with price promotions, especially in the notebook segment,” says Fouad Charakla, a senior research analyst at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “The Egyptian market was supported by a faster-than-expected recovery from the political turmoil that plagued the country earlier in the year, while Turkey experienced a significant slowdown due to currency fluctuations. The performance of South Africa’s PC market was in line with expectations.”