Shipments of smartphones to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region increased 2.9% year on year in Q2 2023, with growth of 2.8% on the previous quarter, according to the IDC research group. And it’s good news for the iPhone.
The GCC is a regional, intergovernmental, political, and economic union comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The region’s two major markets, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, both experienced annual and quarterly growth in shipments.
IDC says this was due to launches and shipments of popular models in the midrange price segments. In the previous quarter, the market’s major brands and channels had focused on premium releases; however, in Q2 2023, there was an increased focus on products from the low-end and midrange price bands (US$100<400), which resulted in the region’s average selling price (ASP) declining on the previous quarter.
Samsung led the GCC’s overall smartphone market in shipment terms in Q2 2023, followed by Apple in second place and Xiaomi in third.
“Apple’s ability to maintain high ASPs in the market incentivized the channel to increase inventory in Q2 2023, with the vendor posting an annual and quarterly increase in shipments,” says Akash Balachandran, a research manager at IDC. “However, Samsung posted annual and quarterly declines due to fewer shipments of its entry-level devices. Quarter two is traditionally a launch quarter for Xiaomi, with the vendor introducing its new line of models, helping to spur growth in its shipments.”