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Emerging Asia PC markets surging, says IDC

PC shipments in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka are rising fast--so fast that Pakistan's total PC market size could exceed Singapore's by 2007, says IDC.
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Written by Jeanne Lim on

SINGAPORE--Despite the presence of various challenges, the emerging Asian markets of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka offer many opportunities for both new and existing PC vendors, says IDC.

The research firm reported Monday that the client PC market in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka grew 16 percent in 2005 over the previous year. PC shipments in these three markets totaled 393,184 units in the second half of 2005, bringing their combined full year 2005 shipments to 851,735 units.

Bryan Ma, IDC's Asia-Pacific associate director of personal systems research, said: "The compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) expected in these three countries make the rest of the Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, market look dull in comparison."

In fact, Pakistan's total PC market size could exceed the "much more developed" Singapore PC market in absolute terms as early as 2007, he added. IDC includes Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, but excludes Japan, in its definition of the Asia-Pacific market.

According to Ma, the CAGR for the Asia-Pacific PC market is 11 percent. He told ZDNet Asia that "those markets (Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) are small compared to the rest of the region, and hence don't have a big impact on the total region's [overall] growth".

With full-year growth of 19 percent, Pakistan boasted the highest growth rate among the three markets. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka achieved "respectable" 13 percent and 12 percent growth rates respectively, said IDC.

Andrew Wong, IDC's Asia research manager of personal systems, said that despite some dampeners in 2005 such as risky peace talks and the aftermath of 2004's tsunami, the PC market in Sri Lanka exhibited resiliency largely due to continued spending from both the public and private sectors.

Wong noted that in Pakistan, "encouraging" government-led policies and structural liberalization in the financial and telecommunications sectors helped lift the PC market in the country. Bangladesh, on the other hand, was relatively unaffected by the influx of second-hand PCs, thus allowing the overall market to move ahead, he said.

Over the long term, IDC predicts that the CAGR from 2006 to 2010 for Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will reach 19 percent, 22 percent and 11 percent, respectively. This growth will be largely driven by public sector purchases, as well as further spending from the telecommunications and financial services sectors.

However, IDC cautioned that vendors still face wild cards from the political, social and economic situations in these countries. The company advised vendors to strengthen their alliances with the country's local vendors or channel partners, especially when pursuing the government, education and financial sectors.

For instance, multinational vendors in Sri Lanka can partner with a local systems integrator or value-added reseller, to reduce costs and get access to government contracts. This approach can be especially useful for vendors that wish to venture into this market in the midst of a rapidly-changing environment, said IDC.

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