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Falling prices spur strong growth in Gulf mobile market

Press Trust of India  |  Dubai 

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) mobile connected devices market expanded 16.7 per cent in the first quarter of this year and saw record shipments of over 8.7 million units, according to a report.

International Data Corporation (IDC), a global consulting services firm, expects the GCC's mobile connected devices market to continue growing over the coming years, with shipments forecast to increase from a total of 35 million units in 2015 to 45 million in 2019, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6 per cent.

Comprising shipments of smartphones, tablets, and portable PCs to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait, the market's growth was spurred by lower average selling prices (ASPs), increasing penetration levels, and the continued efforts of new vendors to make their way into the region's markets and claim a piece of the pie.

The Saudi market accounted for over 50 per cent of the mobile connected devices shipped across the GCC in Q1 2015, with the UAE ranking second with approximately 26 per cent share of the market's volume.

Qatar recorded the region's highest rate of year-on-year growth in Q1 2015, with shipments up by more than 45 per cent.

"The sheer magnitude of declining ASPs is a major factor that continues to drive the adoption of smartphones, with 500 per cent growth seen in shipments of smartphones priced below USD 150," said Saad Elkhadem, a research analyst at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.

GCC member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

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First Published: Mon, July 06 2015. 14:22 IST