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IDC: Smartphone sales rises in the Middle East and Africa region, Nokia drops to 6.6 percent

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IDC has released some figures for the smartphone sales for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. The overall handset market — smartphones and feature phone included — grew by almost 27 percent compared to last year, totaling a whopping 64 million units in sales.

As for the smartphones, they account for almost 40 percent for the second quarter of 2014, a 13 percentage points rise compared to the same quarter last year. What’s more interesting is that the figure is way higher in more developed markets in the region, as much as 80 percent.

The report further outlines the most dominant smartphone vendor for the region as well. Before we get into that, you should know that most key manufacturers have lost some market share in the Middle East and Africa region, even Samsung. The Korean OEM still tops the charts at the biggest smartphone vendor in the region with a 44.9 percent share, dropped from 52.8 percent year-on-year. Even Nokia — now under Microsoft– saw its market share drop to 6.6 percent, from 7.2 percent in the same quarter last year. Huawei was among the few who saw its market share rise to 9.5 percent from 2.6, which is mostly due to the affordable handsets it has flooded the market with. They even surpassed Apple in the MEA region, who are residing at 7.8 percent. 

“Samsung’s performance can be attributed to the poorer-than-expected performance of its flagship S5 device and overall increase in competition,” says Nabila Popal, research manager with IDC’s Systems and Infrastructure Systems Group. “There are simply more vendors, big and small, this year than there were last year; the market has evolved so fast that it’s a completely different ball game now. As more vendors enter the space with better phones and features at ever-decreasing prices, the battle to lead the market will become increasingly fierce.”

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