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While the Middle East smartphone market declined in Q1-23, Apple was the exception with Strong Growth

1 cover iPhone 14

A new analytical report this morning reveals that the Middle East shipped 8.8 million smartphones, with a 3.5% annual decline in Q1 2023. The region performed better as global shipments experienced an annual decline of 13%. Though the Q1 decline ended the region’s nine-month growth streak, the Middle East was the best-performing sub-region. Smartphone shipments to Saudi Arabia had a modest growth of 1% due to consumers prioritizing spending on food, beverage and entertainment as the economy reopened. Despite economic expansion in the retail industry of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the smartphone market experienced a 3% year-on-year decline.

During Apple's Financial Conference Call on May fourth, Apple's CEO stated that "We set an all-time record for Services and a March quarter record for iPhone. We were particularly pleased with the performance we saw in emerging markets and achieved all-time records in Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE, as well as a number of March quarter records, including in Brazil, Malaysia and India."

While the overall Middle East smartphone market declined in Q1, Apple's annual growth actually came in at 35.4%, the highest of any smartphone OEM as presented in the Canalys chart below. Apple grew their market share from 11% in Q1 2022 to 15% in Q1 2023.  

2 Q1-23 middle east smartphone shipment chart  Canalys(Click on chart to Enlarge)

Manish Pravinkumar, Senior Consultant at Canalys: "Despite the economic challenges to consumer spending, Samsung and Apple continue to drive volumes on its after-sale service, brand perception and channel-prioritization. Apple’s year-on-year growth was fueled by partnerships with local retailers and operators in UAE and Saudi Arabia, and strong popularity among younger generations. Additionally, attractive installment payment options are acting as growth catalysts in the region.

Below is a chart breaking down the top 5 smartphone OEMs per country. I've highlighted Apple's position with a round yellow marker to make it easier find quickly. You could see why Tim Cook emphasized the growth in UAE and Saudi Arabia, as this is where the held the most market share. In the UAE, Apple had 27% and in Saudi Arabia 24%. It was a little surprising to only see 19% market share in Israel where Apple has research facilities.

(Click on Chart below to Greatly Enlarge) 3 middle east smartphone market Q1 23 breakdown per country

For more details about the quarter in the Middle East, read the full Canalys report.

10.0F1 - Apple Market Statistics Bar


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