Smartphone shipment volumes to the Middle East and Africa grew 83 percent in 2014, boosted the increased availability of cheaper models and dual-Sim devices, according to a media release issued by the IDC.
Smartphones accounted for 41.9 percent of all mobile handset shipments to the region, up from 27 percent the year before, with the overall handset market expanding 19.6 percent in volume year-on-year. Feature phone shipments fell 4.5 percent, pulled down by the availability of more affordable smartphones. Smartphones priced under USD 100 captured a 20 percent share of the MEA smartphone market, up from 5 percent in 2013. The market share of smartphones in the USD 100–200 price bracket rose 8 percentage points in the quarter, going to 33 percent in the fourth quarter to 33 percent in the third quarter. Meanwhile, smartphones priced in the higher-end USd 250–500 bracket saw their share of the overall market fall to 18 percent in Q4 from 23 percent in Q3.
Dual-Sim smartphone shipments lifted 34 percent in Q4, compared to the year before. The majority of the growth in the smartphone category was witnessed in countries that have larger populations but previously had low penetration rates. For example, smartphone shipments to Nigeria and Kenya increased 135 percent and 112 percent, respectively, year on year in 2014, while Pakistan saw growth of 105 percent. Meanwhile, the more mature GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) smartphone market expanded 31.8 percent year-on-year in 2014, with the region’s penetration rate reaching 72.6 percent.
Samsung held its number-one position in MEA, but with its smartphone share falling to 43.8 in 2014 from 51.5 percent in 2013. Huawei and Apple followed in second and third place with 8.9 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively. The same trend can be seen quarter on quarter, with Samsung’s share sliding 7.8 points from Q3 to Q4, while Huawei and Apple saw their shares increase 5.1 points and 2.7 points, respectively, over the same period.
Meanwhile, the MEA market witnessed a 58 percent increase in the shipment of iOS devices in Q4 compared to Q3. Android shipments increased by only 3.8 percent over the same period, while Blackberry OS continued its declining trend after a temporary increase in Q3.