Smartphone Market in Gulf Sees Steady Growth in Q4 2023: IDC

According to the latest report from IDC, the smartphone market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) experienced significant growth, rising by 11.4 percent year on year (YoY) and 3.7 percent quarter on quarter (QoQ) in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Mobile data user in Gulf smartphone market
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IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker revealed that smartphone shipments in the GCC region increased by 4.5 percent throughout 2023.

Notably, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the largest markets in the GCC, played a pivotal role in driving this growth, consistently reporting annual and quarterly shipment increases. The region also witnessed a decline in average selling prices (ASPs) on a quarterly basis, primarily attributed to the surge in shipments of low-end and ultra-low-end devices, which garnered significant consumer interest.

Samsung maintained its stronghold in the GCC smartphone market during Q4 2023, securing the top position, followed by Apple in second place and Xiaomi in third. Samsung’s growth during this period was propelled by heightened shipments of its entry-level A-series models, while the company continued to maintain momentum in the premium segment.

Apple also experienced year-over-year (YoY) and quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) growth in Q4 2023, benefiting from the launch of its highly anticipated iPhone 15 series. Similarly, Xiaomi recorded a strong quarter, achieving both QoQ and YoY gains, driven by the popularity of its A2 and Note series of devices.

The GCC markets have garnered attention from Chinese brands aiming to expand their presence and increase market share in the region. This interest underscores the growing competitiveness and potential for growth within the GCC smartphone market.

Looking ahead, IDC forecasts marginal growth in smartphone shipments in the GCC for 2024, indicating a continued but possibly slower-paced expansion in the coming year.