Revealed: Most popular smartphones among UAE residents

In terms of value, the GCC smartphone market was worth $1.93 billion in the third quarter of 2022, marking an increase of 5.4 per cent

by

Waheed Abbas

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Reuters file photo used for illustrative purposes
Reuters file photo used for illustrative purposes

Published: Sun 8 Jan 2023, 6:54 PM

Last updated: Sun 8 Jan 2023, 10:52 PM

Global mobile phone makers shipped 1.1 million handsets to the UAE in the third quarter of 2022, an increase of 7.2 per cent as compared to the previous quarter.

South Korean technology giant Samsung is dominating the UAE’s mobile phone market, becoming the most popular brand among shoppers — followed by Chinese Xiaomi and iPhone maker Apple, according to data released by International Data Corporation (IDC).


Out of 1.1 million phones shipped to the UAE from July to September 2022, Samsung controlled a market share of 43 per cent, or 47,300 handsets.

“Samsung has a broader line-up of devices that appeal to all consumer segments existing in the UAE market. New premium releases of the Flip 4 and Fold 4 attracted a great deal of customer attention at the launch and helped the overall portfolio perform well throughout the quarter. Xiaomi, on the other hand, offers comparatively richer specs in affordable price segments, helping maintain its ascend in the market,” said Ramazan Yavuz, senior research manager, data and analytics (Meta) at IDC.


Yavuz added that the UAE market was impacted by the global supply chain crisis and by production delays, especially with the latest iPhone series.

“While these shortages have since eased greatly, some brands and specific models still face occasional stock-outs throughout the last quarter of the year,” he added.

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GCC performance

According to IDC data, shipments of mobile phones to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region declined 5.9 per cent quarter on quarter in Q3 2022 to 5.23 million units.

Smartphone shipments were down 5.7 per cent to 4.74 million units, while feature phone shipments declined 8.1 per cent over the same period to 0.48 million units.

In terms of value, the GCC smartphone market was worth $1.93 billion in Q3 2022, an increase of 5.4 per cent, while the feature phone market totalled $8.42 million, down 17 per cent.

"Product shortages, while generally improved compared to previous quarters, continued to plague portions of the smartphone market," said Akash Balachandran, a research manager at IDC.

"Furthermore, inflationary pressures impacted consumer spending among low- and mid-end price bands as discretionary spending was directed toward essentials. The market's premium price bands performed well in Q3 2022 due to the release of several popular flagship devices from Apple and Samsung, which explains the quarterly growth in value."

Saudi Arabia accounted for 52.4 per cent, followed by the UAE at 23.6 per cent.

"The decline in these two large markets came as a result of an unwillingness among channel partners to carry inventory as they are being challenged by fluctuating prices and varied pricing between different retail segments," said Balachandran. "In Apple's case, product shortages limited the company's quarterly growth."

Samsung led the GCC smartphone market in unit terms in Q3 2022 with a 47.6 per cent share, while second-placed Apple recorded a 16.8 per cent market share. Xiaomi accounted for 15.2 per cent of the GCC smartphone market in Q3 2022.


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