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People in the Middle East bought 29.75 million mobile phones in Q3 2015, a 4.4 percent increase over the previous quarter.

According to global market intelligence firm IDC, the UAE, Turkey and Saudi Arabia were primarily responsible for this growth, accounting for 30 percent of the region’s mobile shipments, with respective quarter-on-quarter increases of 11.2 percent, 10.2 percent and 5.7 percent.

The share of Smartphones in the region’s mobile phone market rose to 65.3 percent, with Turkey leading the way. As much as 96 percent of the mobile shipments in these countries consisted of Smartphones, compared with 77 percent in the GCC and just 35 percent in Pakistan.

“A major factor driving the increase in Smartphone shipments is the decline of the average selling price (ASP) for such devices,” says Nabila Popal, Research Manager for Mobile Phones and Displays at IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey. “The Smartphone ASP for the Middle East declined by almost seven percent quarter on quarter in Q3 2015. Devices priced below $250 accounted for almost 60 percent of the region’s Smartphone shipments during the quarter and this is a price band that is almost solely populated by the Android operating system (OS).”

In the battle of OS (operating systems), Android remained the leader, accounting for more than 87 percent of the Middle East’s Smartphone shipments, and Apple’s iOS saw its share decline by 7.4 percent as consumers waited for the launch of the new iPhone models.

From a brand perspective, Samsung, Apple and Huawei remained the top three Smartphone vendors with a combined share of more than 60 percent. Among these, Samsung alone accounted for 41 percent of the share.

IDC expects Middle East phone shipments for 2016 as a whole to cross the 123m mark, with Smartphones accounting for more than 70 percent of that figure.

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