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Apple's dominance of UAE smartphone mindshare slips

Consumer perceptions of iPhone's value and quality declined in past year says YouGov

New product launches have not stopped declining perception of the Apple iPhone brand, says YouGov.
New product launches have not stopped declining perception of the Apple iPhone brand, says YouGov.

The Apple iPhone's dominance of the UAE smartphone market may be slipping, according to YouGov.

The data and analytics company's latest BrandIndex data shows perceptions of the iPhone brand are in decline.

The YouGov BrandIndex data shows iPhone has seen a decline in Index score from 51.8 in July 2017 to 44.3 in July 2018, then down to 41.8 as of mid-October.

The BrandIndex is compiled using consumer surveys, with the overall index score based on combined perception scores for factors such as quality, value and likelihood of buying the device.

YouGov pointed out that the latest brand scores puts the iPhone close rival Samsung Galaxy, currently on 41.3 index score, which has seen much less decline this year.

The iPhone saw some positive effects from the launch of the iPhone 8 and 9 Plus in September last year, and the iPhone X in November, but from November 2017 to February 2018, the brand dropped considerably. Recent launches also showed some small recovery but were followed by declines.

YouGov also noted that in the individual metrics, iPhone's ranking on both quality and value has declined considerably, with ‘quality' down from 64.3 to 51.7, and ‘value' down from 32 to 20.6. Samsung Galaxy's scores on both metrics stayed stable, declining less than one point over the same period, to 43.5 for quality and 36.5 for value.

Scores for ‘consideration' - whether a person would consider buying this brand - and ‘purchase intent' - whether one is likely to buy this brand - have both stayed higher for iPhone and than for Samsung Galaxy, but the gap has narrowed.

Scott Booth, Head of BrandIndex, MENA, said: "Consumers in the smartphone segment are always hungry for the next big thing, but it seems they are tiring of the slow, incremental change of the past few years. The data show that despite iPhone's recent product launches and huge advertising spends, consumers are not demonstrating the same enthusiasm for the brand as we have seen historically. The huge decline in iPhone's Index score puts it on par with arch rival Samsung Galaxy, showing us a hint of vulnerability in the venerable smartphone power brand. At this point, the smartphone landscape is nearly at parity while major brands proceed with incremental handset changes, suggesting consumers are waiting to see who will bring the next major evolution."