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While Apple was Third in the MEA Market in Q1-24, Chinese Vendors have Dramatically risen in this market


A new analytical report this morning reveals that smartphone shipments in the Middle East (excluding Turkey) reached 12.2 million units in Q1 2024, marking a 39% year-on-year increase.

In Q1 2024, Saudi Arabia witnessed a robust 54% year-on-year increase in smartphone shipments, driven by a 10% increase in tourist arrivals and an uptick in tourist spending.

Iraq underwent a remarkable 112% growth, driven by strong demand for sub-US$200 devices and Chinese vendors offering better color, material and finish (CMF) devices at affordable prices.

(Click on Chart to Enlarge) 2x-MEA-MARKET-Q1-24

Vendor Breakdown by Country

(Click on Chart to Enlarge) 3-MEA-MARKET-Q1-24

OEMs are posing stiff Competition to Incumbents

Manish Pravinkumar, Senior Analyst at Canalys: "Samsung and Apple prioritized strengthening their premium portfolios in Q1. Samsung’s Q1 volumes declined 17% due to lowered contribution from low-end and mid-range A-series models. But its ASP(Average Selling Price)  rose by 19% owing to strong retail campaigns highlighting Galaxy AI features of the S24 series, particularly the S24 Ultra, which accounted for 66% of the series' volume. Similarly, Apple saw a 14% regional decline, but its "Pro" series models contributed more significantly to its portfolio.”

“On the other hand, Chinese OEMs continued to expand in the region. Xiaomi secured the third spot in the Middle East owing to the Redmi Note 13 series and its expansion into independent and organized retail, particularly in competitive markets like the UAE,” commented Pravinkumar. “TRANSSION is experiencing substantial growth, leveraging Infinix's strategic distributor selection in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Tecno is solidifying its presence in the region through aggressive resource acquisition and intensified marketing efforts. HONOR secured the fifth spot by attracting consumers across all price ranges through aggressive retail initiatives and new service centers in Saudi Arabia. 

It should be noted that China's TRANSSION owns several brands such as iTel, Infinix and Tecno with price ranges from >$100 to $1300. Canalys correctly lists all of the listed brands under TRANSSION whereas Counterpoint deceptively lists them as separate companies in order to drop Apple from their top five list published today. That's like Apple having brands iPhone 15, iPhone 14, iPhone 12  instead of being iPhones in a range of prices.

Although the companies are different legal entities, Counterpoint should have put all of TRANSSION's companies under one umbrella with a footnote at the bottom of their report to clarify. The breakdown per country by Canalys proves that Apple is still an important brand in the MEA Market with TRANSSION put into proper context.

10.0F1 - Apple Market Statistics Bar