Apple and Xiaomi were the big winners in the Gulf region last quarter

Apple and Xiaomi were the big winners in the Gulf region last quarter
The final quarter of 2020 was a massive success for Apple and its iPhone 12 5G series in both Europe and North America. Now, new market data shows that the success extended to Gulf countries too.

The iPhone 12 was a huge success, despite shortages


The International Data Corporation, more commonly known as IDC, reports that smartphone shipments in the Gulf Cooperation Region — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — grew to 4.26 million units last quarter.

That number is up 2.3% versus the previous quarter, in part thanks to the re-opening of borders in the region and increased consumer spending, although the bulk of that continued to be focused on essential items.

Apple was the second-largest manufacture by volume during the quarter with a market share of 23%. The strong demand for Apple’s iPhone 12 and the continued success of the iPhone 11 boosted sales by a whopping 55.7% quarter-on-quarter.

Perhaps more impressive is the fact that Apple’s shipment numbers and market share would have been even higher were it not for shortages in the supply of iPhone 12 models, according to IDC senior research analyst Akash Balachandran.

The current chip shortages are likely to hamper smartphone growth in the Gulf Cooperation Region over the coming months, something that will affect all brands, not only Apple. The good news is that IDC expects growth to return in the second half of 2020.

Samsung led the market and Xiaomi soared to third place


Samsung has been the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the Gulf region for quite some time and Q4 2020 was no different. It led the market with an incredible 42% share, up from 40% a year earlier but down from 45% in Q3 2020.

Like Apple, Samsung experienced shortages of certain models, which ultimately led to a drop in smartphone shipments of 4.1%. The earlier Galaxy S21 launch at the start of the current quarter should have given the brand a healthy boost, though.

Mimicking the trends seen across Europe last quarter, Huawei’s smartphone sales collapsed in the Gulf region last quarter while Xiaomi’s soared. The former’s share halved to 8% from a year earlier, and the latter’s grew from 7% to 11%.

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