Over 155m smartphone shipments expected in MEA region this year

Market posted yearly growth of 66% in Q1 2015, according to IDC

Tags: Apple IncorporatedBlackberry (www.blackberry.com)Huawei Technologies CompanyIDC Middle East and AfricaSamsung Corporation
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Over 155m smartphone shipments expected in MEA region this year In terms of screen sizes, the market appears to be consolidating within the 4-inch to 5.5-inch range
By  Tom Paye Published  July 12, 2015

Middle East and Africa (MEA) smartphone shipments are set to total 155m units in 2015, following a first quarter that saw shipments of more than 36m units, according to IDC.

The first quarter's results meant year-on-year growth of 66%, the company's Q1 2015 Mobile Phone Tracker numbers showed this week. Smartphones accounted for 63% of the handsets shipped in the Middle East in Q1, while Africa's market was 47% made up of smartphones.

As expected, the smartphone's success came at the expense of the feature phone. Devices of this type suffered year-on-year declines of around 20% in both regions and will make up just 27% of the overall MEA handset market by the end of 2019, IDC said.

Smartphone growth in the region is being spurred by Google's Android and Apple's iOS, with the two platforms accounting for over 95% of the smartphones shipped in Q1 2015. Shipments of devices featuring these operating systems increased by a combined 67% year on year, IDC said. In the Middle East, Android currently represents 80% of market's volume, while iOS accounts for 17%. In Africa, meanwhile, these figures stand at 89% and 7%, respectively.

BlackBerry once again suffered significant year-on-year declines across the region in Q1 2015, with the vendor's shipments falling 14% in Africa and 29% in the Middle East, IDC added.

"The launch of a number of new models by the vendor seems to have had little impact on lifting the BlackBerry brand out of its continuing decline," said Isaac T. Ngatia, a senior research analyst at IDC.

"The loss of the corporate segment, spurred by the continued uptake of bring-your-own-device policies among the region's enterprises, has had an adverse effect on BlackBerry's performance in the market."

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