Smartphone market in Gulf region grows 6% to $2.05 bn: IDC

Smartphone shipments in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region rose 5.4 percent QoQ to 5 million units in Q4 2022.
IDC report on smartphone market in Gulf in 2022Feature phone shipments in the Gulf region grew 4.9 percent quarter-on-quarter to 0.51 million units.

Shipments of mobile phones to the Gulf region grew 5.3 percent quarter on quarter (QoQ) in Q4 2022 to 5.51 million units.

Smartphone market in the Gulf region increased 6 percent QoQ to $2.05 billion in Q4 2022. The feature phone market in the Gulf region rose 2.6 percent QoQ to $8.64 million.

Consumer spending faced inflationary pressures in 2022, and smartphone brands had to contend with challenging supply shortages. However, the supply issues began to improve in the final quarter of the year, IDC said.

Saudi Arabia accounted for 51.6 percent of smartphones shipped across the Gulf region in Q4 2022, with shipments to the Kingdom up 3.9 percent QoQ in unit terms. The UAE, the GCC’s second-largest market, accounted for 24.9 percent of the region’s smartphone market, with shipments to the country growing 11 percent QoQ.

Samsung led the smartphone market in the Gulf region in unit terms in Q4 2022 with 45.5 percent share, while seeing its shipments to the region grow 0.8 percent QoQ.

Apple, with 17.9 percent share, saw its shipments grow 12.7 percent QoQ in the Gulf region as iPhone supply improved compared to the previous quarter.

Xiaomi has 14.6 percent share in the Gulf region in Q4 2022 and recorded shipment growth of 0.8 percent QoQ.

IDC forecasts QoQ growth of 1.9 percent for the smartphone market in the Gulf region in Q1 2023. The supply of iPhones from Apple to the Gulf region is expected to increase.  Samsung is strengthening its presence in the premium segment with more supply and marketing investment in its newly released S23 series.

5G devices accounted for 41 percent of smartphone shipments in the Gulf region during Q4 2022, says Ramazan Yavuz, a senior research manager at IDC. The research report said 5G devices will account for 90.2 percent of smartphone shipments in the Gulf region by the end of 2027.