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The East African : November 25th 2013
The EastAfrican OUTLOOK NOVEMBER 23-29,2013 e -AF R ICAN Laptop sales rising, desktops drop Only 67 pe≥ cent of Af≥ica business p≥ofessionals a≥e using a desktop By ISAAC KHISA Special Correspondent A growing middle class and the need for fast data is driving up demand for portable computers in the East African region, displacing the desktops that have dominated the information technology sector for decades. Research from International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that more than 155,000 portable computers were sold in East Africa in the second quarter of 2013 compared with 124,000 devices sold in the same period last year. On the other hand, the number of desktops sold in the second quarter for 2013 dropped to about 50,000 compared with 67,000 units sold at the same time in the previous year. The study was carried out on Ac- er, Dell, Hewlett Packard, and Lenovo computer brands for both desktop and laptop sales. Other brands covered by the study were Samsung and Toshiba. IDC East Africa research manag- er Onesmus Mbogo said the growing middle income earners in the region are pushing up the demand for laptops as demand for information surges. “From 2013 through 2020, 90 per cent of information technology industry growth will be driven by third platform technologies (portable devices) that, today, represent just 22 per cent of information and communications technology spending,” Mr Mbogo said. A random survey by The East- African shows that the majority of computer dealers in Kampala are selling more laptops than desktop computers. For instance, desktop sales accounted for just 2 per cent of the 1,020 units Computer Plaza sold last year. Rahil Kotadiya, sales executive at Computer Plaza, said only corpo- rates clients are purchasing desktop computers now. “At the moment, our sales of lap- tops stand at around 1,000 devices per year whereas desktops remain sluggish at about 20 devices, the majority of which are procured by INTERNATIONAL DATA’S PREDICTIONS 134.4 million desktops and 180.9 million laptops to be shipped in 2013 against 227.3 million tablets. Smartphones to hit more than a billion this year, with IDC putting the final number at 1,013.2 million. corporate clients,” Mr Kotadiya said. Computer vendors in Kampala Tablets to surpass portable computers sales by 2015: Desktop shipments to slide to 123 million, laptops to climb to 196.6 million, and tablets to climb by 79 per cent to 406.8 million by 2017 1,733.9 million smartphones to be shipped by 2017. are currently selling both portable and desktop computers at between Ush650,000 ($255) and Ush3 million ($1,175) depending on the size and the data holding capacity. The adoption of mobile devices has been on the increase especially within Africa’s business community, according to another study contacted by the Africa Business Panel. The survey, carried out in Au- gust and September this year in Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, South African, Ghana, Zambia and Angola, shows that only 67 per cent of Africa business professionals are using a desktop while 94 per cent use laptops. At the same time, the tablet, a relatively new mobile innovation, has already been adopted by 47 per cent of the African business world while 76 per cent use a smartphone — which is more than the use of the classic mobile phone (at 64 per cent). Only nine per cent possess both a private and a company smartphone. A Ugandan technology expert, Michael Niyitegeka, said whereas desktop computers are expensive in terms of maintenance, licence fees for software and security, they will still remain on the market, at least for some time. Mr Niyitegeka said that dealers in computers now have the task of identifying new market segments like corporate organisations, government departments and educational institutions. Globally, IDC predicts that more tablet computers will be shipped than desktops or laptops combined in the fourth quarter of this year. The firm says 134.4 million desktops and 180.9 million laptops would be shipped in 2013, against 227.3 million tablets. Dell follows HP and Toshiba into the Kenyan ma≥ket By MICHAEL OUMA Special Correspondent GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY vendors are making their way to Kenya in response to the uptake of personal communication devices. The latest vendor to enter the country is US- based PC maker Dell — currently ranked the third global PC vendor in terms of sales volumes. Dell joins HP and Toshiba, which already have local offices. “The office will be our East African hub and cover six other countries — that is Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and Eritrea,” said Dell’s Europe, Middle East and Africa vice president Aongus Hegarty, . Dell’s Kenya office will be complemented by its retail partners — Mitsumi, Red Dot, Redington and Onward Tech. “Kenya is one of the top three countries in our Central and Southern Africa cluster, which has 27 countries. The others are South Africa and Nigeria. Kenya has a youthful population and a rising GDP, which provide a potential market for our products,” he said. Another PC vendor set to establish a Kenyan office is Taiwan’s Asus, which plans to have its local office operating in the course of 2014. Asus is ranked fifth globally in terms of sales volumes after Acer. Shawn Chang, Asus regional director for Tur- key, Israel and Africa, said that the Kenya office will be opened by the second half of 2014 and handle Tanzania and Uganda as well. “Our current PC 13.7m PCs shipped by HP in the thrid quarter of 2013, ahead of ther dealers market-share in Kenya is about 3 per cent, a huge improvement from 0.3 per cent a year ago. We want to concentrate on the Kenyan market,” said Chang, adding that the brand is here to compete with others on its design and function, performance versus price as well as reliability. Theocus on emerging markets by Dell and Asus is meant to help grow the market for the brand amid declining PC sales figures globally. According to research firm Gartner’s third quarter report for 2013 released in October, worldwide PC shipments declined by 8.6 per cent, with the sales volumes being the lowest recorded since 2008. The quarter’s total PC shipments were 80.3 million units, an 8.6 per cent decline from the same period last year, marking the sixth consecutive quarter of declining worldwide shipments. In terms of shipments for the third quarter of this year, China’s Lenovo moved 14 million units accounting for 17.6 per cent of the overall global marketshare; HP had 13.7 million (17.1 per cent) followed by Dell with 9.3 million units (11.6 per cent), Acer 6.6 million units (8.3 per cent) and Asus 4.9 million units (6.1 per cent). According to the report, shipments by Dell rose while those by Acer and Asus fell. “Acer’s shipments declined 22.6 per cent com- pared with a year ago, as a reduction in netbook shipments impacted overall PC shipment results,” the report said. It added: “Asus’s tablet shipments were nearly equal to its mobile PC shipments in quarter 3 2013.” BRIEFS Bluekey’s new software for SMEs in the region Business software vendor Bluekey has launched two database management tools for small and medium enterprises in East Africa. The software – SAP HANA and SAP Business One Cloud – will be available on the cloud-computing technology platform. Bluekey Group chairman Kevin O’Brien said the firm had partnered with Portugal Telecom, which will provide cloud-computing services for its clients in the region. “The cloud technology increases efficiency and hosting them on the cloud cuts operational costs by up to 30 per cent, as companies only pay a monthly fee for the service,” he said. CCK to raise $11.6m to boost Internet access 29 Workers lay fibre optic cables in Nairobi. Pic: File Kenya intends to raise Ksh1 billion ($11.6 million) annually from the mobile operators, broadcasters, ISPs and courier operators for increasing high-speed Internet access and erecting mobile telephony masts in remote areas. Citing the ICT Access Gaps Study undertaken by CCK last year, Communication Commission of Kenya director general Francis Wangusi said close to 1,120 sublocations out of a total 7,149 in the country have no access to basic communication services. Tanzania on Phase III of broadband network Tanzania is set to start the construction of the third phase of its National ICT Broadband Backbone in December. “The first and second phase of the fibre optic backbone, which are complete, connect Dar es Salaam to other regions in the country and to Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda,” Minister for Communications, Science and Technology Makame Mbarawa said. Rwanda launches online forum for the youth Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT, in partnership with three private firms, has launched an online forum — YouthConnekt — to involve the youth in the country’s development. “This is historic, it’s a dream come true... we have been interacting on radio, on television, in various meetings, we should really make an advanced use of technology to keep in touch with you,” Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister for Youth and ICT said.
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