Qatar- Laptops struggle to compete with smartphone demand| MENAFN.COM

Friday, 24 March 2023 01:41 GMT

Qatar- Laptops struggle to compete with smartphone demand

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Laptop sales have seen an upward trend, especially during the Ramadan and Eid seasons, but suppliers are still struggling to compete with the high demand for the latest smartphones and tablets, Gulf Times has learnt.
A merchandiser of a popular hypermarket in Doha said laptop sales saw a 50% climb in July compared to previous months due to various Ramadan-related promos in the form of cash backs and gift vouchers.
However, suppliers are also facing stiff competition with the strong demand for a range of smartphones and tablets, the merchandiser said.
"The growing popularity of these gadgets and cellphones has significantly affected our sales. Their functionality and the availability of many apps in the market today have proven to be a tough challenge for our laptop suppliers," the merchandiser explained.
He added: "When I arrived in Doha in 2011, we easily met our QR1mn monthly quota across all our stores € and this was for a particular brand only; this excludes the respective quotas of other laptop brands. But after 2013, as smartphones and tablets began to gain momentum in the market, laptop sales fell and we were fortunate if we meet our monthly quota twice every quarter."
A smartphone and tablet merchandiser said she was able to sell as many as 50 phones a day during Ramadan and around 60 units due to Eid al-Fitr-related promos.
But aside from discounted prices, many smartphones and tablets now come with advanced software applications and high-resolution digital cameras making them popular to customers, she said.
Another laptop merchandiser said last month's top seller in their store alone was Dell, which sold more than 400 units, followed by Asus (370 units) and Lenovo (350 units). Various back to school promos, which included laptops, have also helped push sales at many stores, he noted.
"In the electronics section, these are the top competing brands among our customers. During Ramadan, our sales for the same brands were higher than last month's figures, but not in the same order," he said.
The merchandiser said expatriates top the list of laptop customers. "Only 5% of Qataris buy laptops. In terms of brands, many Indians (comprising 60% of its customer base) are fond of Dell, while Filipinos (35%) prefer Asus. Toshiba, meanwhile, has a regular following among Arabs," he said.
Aside from laptops, the merchandiser said their sales for PCs and desktop computers have also declined.
But he noted that the so-called "all-in-one" PC, which has the CPU built into the monitor, is gaining popularity among their customers.
Depending on its specification, he said the price of an all-in-one PC could cost between QR2,700 for the mid-range to QR4,999 for the high-end range. For the mid-range PCs, he said they were able to sell 10 units and three units for the high-end range last month.
"Desktop computers are common among gamers and for office use. Unlike the all-in-one, gamers cannot modify or upgrade the PC's specs. Offices, on the other hand, often replace the CPU but still keep the monitor and other accessories," he said.

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