Smartphone sales in the Middle East and Africa fell 3.7% in the first quarter of 2022

Smartphone sales in the Middle East and Africa fell 3.7% in the first quarter of 2022

Smartphone sales in the Middle East and Africa region reportedly fell 3.7% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2022, according to the latest data from research firm Counterpoint Research.. Their report notes that although the first quarter of the year is normally slow in terms of sales, smartphone demand has also been rattled by geopolitical worries elsewhere and increased pressure on consumers due to rising prices. raw materials and foodstuffs.

Senior research analyst Yang Wang explains that although most manufacturers have seen their sales fall year-on-year, their performance must be seen in the context of the economic reopening in the first quarter of 2021 after the blockages of the COVID-19, which resulted in higher than normal sales for this quarter.

Although Samsung posted sales and market share losses in the first quarter of 2022, Yang Wang says this still presents an upbeat performance for the South Korean company than the numbers suggest.

Indeed, despite the lingering effects of supply issues, Samsung’s affordable Galaxy A series has proven to be very popular in the region. Add to that other manufacturers who lack a reliable supply chain and product mix, Yang Wang believes Samsung is perfectly positioned to take more market share from rivals in the coming quarters.

Transsion’s brands (itel, Tecno and Infinix) saw their market share increase by 1% from 28% to 29% in the first quarter of 2022. However, they also recorded a decline in sales of 7.5% year-over-year in the quarter, which was remarkably their first decline in sales. since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transsion’s dip in performance has been attributed to Itel, which is a brand that has a strong focus on entry-level devices targeting low-income customers.

Infinix meanwhile showed positive growth thanks to its Hot and Smart series. Yang Wang, however, thinks that Transsion Group is not in a good position and he fears that demand for its products will decline. The lead researcher also mentions that Transsion’s local currency depreciation could prevent the company from being price competitive.

Xiaomi and Oppo have been singled out for dealing with serious supply chain issues since the second half of 2021, but Yang Wang notes that both companies have bounced back resiliently for the first quarter of 2022, and he also says he expects their market share to decline to mid-year lows.

While smartphone growth has slowed in the MEA (Middle East and Africa) region, the Middle East market has managed to grow while that of Africa has underperformed since the second half of 2021.

The Middle East is an exception here, as most of its member countries have enjoyed increased oil revenues since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war. The region’s smartphone market is therefore expected to be the strongest performer for the rest of 2022.

On the other hand, the underperformance in Africa is likely to continue for the rest of the year as food price increases mean consumers will be unwilling to spend big bucks on big ticket items like smartphones. .

Once the current situation subsides, Counterpoint Research expects the African market to recover and be driven forward by the region’s increasing urbanization, digitization of different sectors, and general adoption of smartphones by the population.