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MEA smartphone shipments rise 6% YoY in Q1 2024

Smartphone shipments in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region increased 6% YoY in Q1 2024, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor Service. In QoQ terms, the market contracted 16%, in line with seasonal trends.

After four quarters of breathtaking growth, the MEA market in Q1 settled into a typical level of growth and was in line with global trends. The macroeconomic situation continued to improve with inflation rates moderating. Short-term challenges like the Middle East geopolitical conflict, currency fluctuations in certain African countries and a busy election calendar are not expected to derail the smartphone market’s long-term growth prospects in the region.

Commenting on the market’s dynamics, Senior Analyst Yang Wang said, “There is a sense that the MEA smartphone market will lose momentum by 2024 end. The rebound in consumer sentiment due to improving economic conditions is now in the rear-view mirror, and smartphone players are waiting for the next catalyst while consolidating their market positions. At the same time, Q1 usually experiences a quieter off-season period; activity is expected to pick up towards the end of Q2 2024.”

MEA Smartphone Shipments Market Share, Q1 2024 vs Q1 2023

Insights on key brands during Q1 2024

  • Samsung retook the top spot for smartphone brands, a position it lost for the first time to TECNO in Q4 2023. Despite the YoY shipment drop, the company is making a turnaround in the region after a poor holiday season, as the focus returns to lower-mid-end smartphones.
  • Transsion Group continued to be the dominant OEM in the region, capturing 30% of the smartphone market. However, this was a sizeable drop from the all-time high of 36% that it had captured in the previous quarter, due to strong competition. TECNO continued to be the outperformer, with successful sales in the lower and mid ranges. However, its success came somewhat at the cost of sister brand Infinix. itel mounted a rebound due to a well-timed model refresh, while its lower segment continued to improve.
  • Xiaomi surged 82% mainly due to continued improvement in product availability, and geographic reach. The Redmi 13 series was off to a fast start after an earlier-than-expected launch in the region.
  • Apple fell off the top-five chart, coming in at the sixth spot. The iPhone 15 series’ performance has been mediocre, while the economic hit in Israel has affected Apple the most, as the country is traditionally the company’s third-largest market in the region, behind Saudi Arabia and UAE.

Counterpoint Research

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