Publication date: 30 Nov 2023
GCC Smartphone Market Weathers Economic Headwinds with 13.2% Year-on-Year Growth in Q3 2023
Dubai – Newly released data from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker shows that shipments of smartphones to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region increased 13.2% year on year in Q3 2023, with growth of 3.7% on the previous quarter.
The region’s two largest markets, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, recorded annual growth in shipments. Average selling prices (ASPs) across GCC followed suit, with annual and quarterly increases spurred by new releases of popular models in the high-end and premium price bands ($600+).
Samsung led the overall GCC smartphone market in shipment terms in Q3 2023, followed by Apple in second place and Xiaomi in third. "Apple's shipments were up year on year in Q3 2023, but down on the previous quarter as the channel prepared for the release of the iPhone 15 series," says Akash Balachandran, a research manager at IDC. "Conversely, Samsung's shipments were down year on year but up on the previous quarter, with its midrange A-series and premium S-series devices continuing to be popular. Q3 2023 was a strong quarter for Xiaomi as well, with the vendor posting annual and quarterly growth thanks to strong shipments of its Note 12 series and 13 line."
"Distribution channels in the GCC are grappling with low profitability," says Ramazan Yavuz, a senior research manager at IDC. "Consumer demand is slow, price structures are being distorted quickly, and restrained budgets are dampening the prospect of faster growth. Coupled with a negative global economic outlook, IDC forecasts that the GCC smartphone market will experience only marginal growth in 2024."
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