Saudi Arabia tops Arab countries in computer sales
(Saudi Economic Survey (Saudi Arabia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) S audi Arabia tops other Arab countries in the volume of computer hardware sales. According to the latest report of the global IT research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), the Kingdom's sales of personal computers and laptops during the year 2009 reached 1.8 million units, costing SR 5.8 billion.
This figure is expected to jump to SR 7.5 billion in 2010, fuelled by the growing adoption of technology solutions by businesses and households across the country, and the increasing computer penetration, which has reached 24% and is expected to ex- ceed 30% by 2014.
Easy accessibility to top-quality IT products and services has helped encourage IT spending in the Kingdom, which remains the biggest IT market in the GCC with a forecast value of SR 19.5 billion by 2014 from an esti- mated SR 13.875 billion in 2010. Regarding computer hardware sales in the Arab world, UAE comes next to Saudi Arabia with 1.599 million units, valued at SR 4.6 billion during the year 2009.
Egypt comes third with 581000 units of comput- ers, costing a total of SR 1.6 billion, and it was followed by Kuwait and Qatar with 277000 and 205000 units with a total val- ue of SR 866 million and SR 605 million respectively. Oman and Bahrain come next with 99000 and 82000 units, with a cost of SR 333 million and SR 308 million respectively. There was a fall in the average sale of computers in the Arab countries.
The average price of a computer unit in Saudi Arabia dropped to $878 during the year 2009 comparing with $896 in 2008. In Kuwait, the average price fell to $851 from $914 during the period.
There was a fall of about $85 in the prices of computers in Bahrain and Oman during the period. Omar Shihab, director of programs department at IDC, said that spending on IT infrastructure in the Middle East witnessed remarkable growth of 13.7% during the last year weathering the fall out of the global financial crisis.
This was mainly because of the increased atten- tion being given by the governments in the region to improve their educational and government services sectors by us- ing the highly advanced IT facilities. Omar Shihab noted that UAE is the regional hub of for re-export of computers.
It makes up of about 30% of the volume of computer units sold in the region. Price of computer units is the lowest in UAE comparing with other countries in the region. Despite the economic slowdown, the Kingdom would continue to be a lucrative market for technology products and ser- vices over the forecast period as it invests to upgrade its IT and communications in- frastructure, the report pointed out.
The government bodies were pressing ahead with ambitious e-government and IT projects. The volume of Kingdom's spend- ing on ICT reached $5.88 billion during the year 2009. UAE comes next to it with a spending of 4.26 billion, and it was followed by Egypt ($2 billion) and Kuwait ($1.3 billion). Saudi IT market has a num- ber of positive factors that should help it return to a higher growth path, including a growing popuprojects.
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