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International brands surge in local PC market

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International technology brands are gaining momentum in the South African market place at the expense of traditionally dominant local OEMs.

Pierre Spies, CEO of Tarsus Technologies, says this trend has been confirmed by the latest IDC figures on the South African PC market and echoes figures Tarsus reflected in its quarterly summary of product shipments.
Spies says IDC's figures show that internationally branded computers experienced a combined 28% year-on-year growth, whereas the top three local brands experienced a combined 1% decline in shipments.
"This is on the back of a desktop market that grew at 6% over the previous quarter last year;" Spies says. "It has meant that the top three international brands have increased their combined market share from 50% last year, to 56% this year."
He says this change in the market has been driven predominantly by the international vendors' more aggressive approach to the South African market, and emerging markets in general.
"The international vendors we represent have all changed their go-to-market strategies and become extremely aggressive in terms of pricing, features, after-sales support and innovative bundling solutions," he says.
"I don't think the situation will be changing either," he adds. "While I foresee international brands continuing to gain traction locally, there is still a great deal of opportunity in the space occupied by local OEM brands and substantial room for value-added services here."
Spies says that of the international vendors capitalising on this growth, HP is the clear leader.
"HP's business grew by 18% in the notebook market in comparison to the same quarter last year, a trend that has driven its market share in notebooks from 18% to 30%."
Similarly, Spies says that HP's desktop business grew by 37% in a market where the average growth rate was 6%.
"It's clear that there's a trend towards emerging markets becoming a strong focus area for many international vendors," he says. "Over the coming year, I believe this trend will continue and we will see an increasingly aggressive stance from all of the international vendors active in South Africa.
"While this undoubtedly bodes well for the customer, since better value will be had by buyers in the consumer, SME and enterprise markets, it also shows that the local PC market is maturing and has piqued the interest of some of the world's leading vendors.
"This will mean increased choice and quicker time to market for technology, which can only bode well for the health of the market in the foreseeable future," Spies says.