Smartphone shipments to the Middle East and Africa saw an unprecedented year-on-year growth of 83 per cent in 2014, according to a report.
The Q4 2014 Handsets Tracker released by International Data Corporation (IDC) said that smartphones accounted for 41.9 per cent of all mobile handset shipments to the region in 2014, up from 27 per cent in 2013.
“Many new vendors have been eager to get into the region’s burgeoning smartphone space, with a number of them launching phones in this growing price band,” says Nabila Popal, IDC’s research manager for handsets and display solutions in the Middle East and Africa.
“This strategy of targeting the mid and low end of the market has contributed significantly to the success of vendors like Huawei and Lenovo..,” said Popal.
The growing popularity of dual-SIM smartphones is also helping shape the market, with shipments of such devices increasing 34 per cent year on year in Q4 2014.
“Vendors such as Samsung and HTC launched variants of their flagship S5 and HTC One M8 models with dual-SIM capabilities,” said Isaac T Ngatia, a senior research analyst at IDC Middle East, Africa.
The majority of the growth in the smartphone category was witnessed in countries that have larger populations but previously had low penetration rates.
“Apple’s growth is primarily due to the incredible success of its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, which finally placed the vendor in the large screen size segment that had previously been dominated by Samsung,” said Popal.
Like in other global markets, the Middle East and Africa market witnessed a massive 58 per cent increase in the shipment of iOS devices in Q4 2014 compared to Q3 2014.