According to a report by Counterpoint’s Market Monitor Service, smartphone shipments in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region declined 12.1% YoY to 148 million units in 2022, the lowest shipment level since 2015.

This drop can be attributed to the rise in energy and agricultural goods prices caused by the Ukraine war, dampening consumer sentiment in the region. After a good start to the year, the macroeconomic situation gradually worsened with the year's progress.

Middle East and Africa (MEA) smartphone shipments falls 20.4% YoY in Q3 2022
Smartphone shipments in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region retreated 20.4% YoY and 12% QoQ to 35 million units in Q3 2022, according to research from Counterpoint. This was the lowest level since Q2 2020, or since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report shows that smartphone shipments dropped 18.4% YoY in Q4, a slightly better reading than the record low of 20.4% drop in Q3 2022. This could be attributed to the receding inflationary pressure and foreign currency headwinds. Despite this, the market environment remained challenging, with high inflation rates, energy and food prices, and depreciating domestic currencies against the US dollar.

Samsung, the market leader, saw YoY volume and market share growth in 2022 due to the success of its Galaxy A series in capturing the market for aspirational upgraders. Transsion Group brands continued to hold the biggest share of smartphone shipments, while Xiaomi finished the year in third place. Apple saw a decline in shipments YoY but saw an increase in market share due to the success of the iPhone 13 series.