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Portable PCs market grows by 64.1 percent

30 November, 2006

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KARACHI: The portable PCs segment dominates the overall PC/Server market, as the Pakistan PC shipments grew 20.9 percent in Q2 2006 (April-June) to 173,834 units as compared to the same quarter of preceding year.

The portable PCs segment experienced substantial growth of 64.1 percent year-to-year mainly due to a major deal of 4,500 portable PCs announced by the Bahria University. The government's continuous effort to automate the different public and private sector bodies was also noticeable in the quarter.

The second quarter of 2006 yielded stiff competition among multinational vendors in the desktop market. HP led the market with 5.1 percent share, followed by Lenovo and Dell. The government agenda of promoting local players seems to be materialising for the domestic market development. During Q2 2006, Raffles, a major local player, registered the highest growth in the PC market with 49.5 percent year-to-year growth, while Inbox (another local player) shipments also grew substantially, a report by Springboard Research said.

Among all segments, the government held the greatest share (23.7 percent) of total PC shipments in Q2 2006, followed by large enterprises (500+employees) and the home segment. Additionally, Springboard saw government, banking and telecom sectors spending heavily in strengthening their IT infrastructure.

One area, which drew attention from both local and international players, was the growing telecom sector in the country. Pakistan's telecom sector has witnessed unprecedented growth in the recent years with total IT spending in the industry estimated at $134.5 million in 2005, generating 22.5 percent annual growth.

Currently, the hardware segment accounts for about 70 percent of total telecom IT spending in the country. "With the deregulation of fixed line and mobile sectors, we expect to see a considerable amount of investment, both locally and internationally. In this event, IT business opportunities for vendors will be accelerated," commented Rehan Ghazi, a market analyst.

Although the government has announced new standard operating procedures and projects for the IT industry, the GST imposed in the new fiscal budget had increased computer prices by at least 15 to 20 percent and made them unaffordable for some home users, educational institutions, and other price-sensitive users.

"The Pakistan PC/Server market is one of the fastest emerging segments in South Asia and, in the past few years, the market attracted a lot of attention from international IT vendors. Improving economic indicators and foreign investors' confidence will help the sector gain momentum as well. The growing trend of strengthening the IT infrastructure by both government and private sectors may trigger an expansion of competition in the market," he added.

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