5G smartphone shipments to Gulf drop 3.4% in Q1: IDC

Shipment of 5G smartphones to the GCC in Q1 2022 dropped 3.4 percent QoQ and accounted for 35.9 percent of overall smartphone shipments, according to IDC.
Smartphone market in GCC in Q1 2022
This was due to higher shipments of entry-level 4G Android devices and shortages of Apple iOS 5G devices.

5G penetration will make up 80.6 percent of total GCC smartphone shipments in 2026, says Ramazan Yavuz, a senior research manager at IDC.

Smartphone shipments

Smartphone shipments to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region rose 0.4 percent QoQ to 5.47 million units, while feature phone shipments decline 9.8 percent to 0.63 million units, according to IDC report.

Shipments of mobile phones to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region declined 0.8 percent quarter on quarter in Q1 2022 to total 6.10 million units.

The size of smartphone market was $2.09 billion in Q4 2021 in the GCC region, a decrease of 4.5 percent QoQ, while the feature phone market totaled $11.16 million, down 25.9 percent.

Smartphone shipments to Saudi Arabia declined 4.9 percent QoQ in Q1 2022. Saudi Arabia accounted for 53.3 percent of all smartphone shipments to the GCC. The UAE, the region’s second-largest market, saw shipments increase 11.2 percent QoQ for 24.9 percent share.

Samsung and Xiaomi channels reported improved supply across the GCC for the quarter.

Apple faced shortages from delayed shipments, which impacted the vendor’s overall unit and value growth during the quarter.

Samsung led the GCC smartphone market in terms of shipments in Q1 2022 with 47.5 percent share. Samsung posted 6.9 percent QoQ growth in shipments as supply improved, especially for its S-series smartphones.

Apple, with 15.4 percent share, saw shipments decline 18.2 percent QoQ, with channel partners reporting supply constraints and delays in shipments.

Xiaomi accounted for 14.9 percent of the GCC smartphone market in Q1 2022, with its expanding portfolio of midrange to high-end devices driving a 9.3 percent QoQ increase in shipments to the Gulf region.

The GCC smartphone market is forecast to decline 4.8 percent QoQ in Q2 2022 due to rising inflation, declining consumer demand, and growing inventory in the channel, said IDC.