Southern Africa Personal Computing Devices Market Declines Due to Economic Pressures of COVID-19

  • By ; Nahla Makled 

     

    Southern Africa's personal computing devices (PCD) market, which comprises desktops, notebooks, and tablets across South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia, saw shipments decline 12.2% year on year (YoY) in Q3 2020, according to the latest research from International Data Corporation (IDC).

    The firm's newly released Quarterly PCD Tracker reveals that the desktop market was the worst hit during the quarter with a YoY decline of 60%, while the tablet and notebook markets declined 16.5% and 2.4%, respectively. Shipments of gaming notebooks increased 3.8% over the same period as consumers turned to gaming as a means of entertainment during the lockdown period.

    “Shipments continued to shrink in the third quarter as the South African economy suffered a significant contraction," says Grace Munyi, a research analyst at IDC. "The implementation of lockdown measures saw the country's GDP fall by over 16% between the first and second quarters of the year, with GDP down 51% YoY in Q2 2020. This represents South Africa's steepest economic contraction since 1960 and dwarfed its 2009 global financial crisis slowdown of 6.1%. The weakening of the rand's exchange rate against the U.S. dollar, together with a shortage of forex, further weakened PCD shipments into the region."

    "The market also experienced a shortage of components, such as Celeron and Pentium processors, monitors, and CPUs," continues Munyi. "Entry-level models, which are more popular in the region, were particularly affected. This compounded the market's suffering as it meant that vendors were unable to meet the huge demand opportunities that emerged.

    Despite the adverse effects of the pandemic, work-from-home policies and distance learning initiatives kept demand for PCDs going. Employers sought to equip their employees with devices to use at home and parents bought devices for their children to facilitate online learning due to the closure of schools. The gradual easing of the lockdown measures eventually saw mobility resume with some offices re-opening, thus sustaining demand for notebooks and tablet devices.

    In the PC space, HP Inc. dominated proceedings in Q3 2020, accounting for 24.7% of total PC shipments during the quarter. Lenovo placed second with 23.7% share, followed by Dell and Acer Group with respective shares of 14.7% and 14.6%.

    In the tablet space, Lenovo led the way with 13.8% share of shipments in Q3 2020. Samsung ranked second with 10.5% share and Apple placed third with 8.5%.

    "IDC anticipates that the PCD market will grow slightly in Q4 2020 and continue to recover over the coming years," says Munyi. "We have revised our forecast downwards due to the ongoing shortage of components. However, Black Friday, Christmas, and anticipated education deals are projected to be positive factors for the market. Looking further ahead, IDC expects the Southern Africa PCD market to decline 11.3% YoY in 2020

     

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