Global slowdown, inflationary pressure may hit smartphones market


The smartphone manufacturers will face stiff competition this year as the inflationary pressure impacting the consumer purchasing power in the wake of slowdown in global economy, according to an expert.

Ramazan Yavuz, senior research manager, Data and Analytics (META), IDC, said the UAE and GCC smartphone market is expected to post a nearly flat year-on-year growth of 0.5 per cent this year.

Citing several reasons contribute to this fairly low growth rate, he said inflationary pressures impacting the consumer demand not only in the region but across the globe in the wake of slowdown in global economy.

“The channel choosing to remain fairly lean in terms of inventory levels so as to better control local pricing of the product is priority of most of the manufacturers. Also, potential recessionary headwinds causing the market players to be fairly cautious in spending and business plans for 2023,” Yavuz told Khaleej Times.

In reply to a question, he said it is also expected to see a greater focus by brand and channel to work on lengthening the lifecycle of existing models in order to drive the performance of price cautious consumer segments.

Last week, Samsung Electronics introduced its new flagship devices — the base model S23, the bigger size S23+ and high-end variant S23 Ultr, ahead of its major competitor Apple, which sold 72.3 million iPhones in fourth quarter of 2022 to regain its top position in the sales chart.

Apple accounted for a market share of 24.1 per cent in October-December quarter while Samsung share dropped to 19.4 per cent with 58.2 million smartphones sales, according to market research company International Data Corporation.

More phones are coming

The tech-savvy consumers are awaiting the best smartphones releasing in February 2023 from companies like Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and others.

Chines smartphone manufacturer OnePlus is expected to unveil its OnePlus 11 5G model globally on February 7 while the iQOO Neo 7 is scheduled for launch on February 16, 2023.

Some of the incredible smartphones ranging from the Vivo X90 to Opponents Reno 8T, iQOO Neo7 and Xiaomi 13 Pro, among others, are expected to hit the stores’ shelves this month.

“While smartphone vendors have generally maintained an iterative approach to releasing new models and innovation in recent years, we can expect to see more of a focus in expanding from factors in 2023 and beyond. Specifically, this includes a greater emphasis on the release of foldable devices from Samsung as the leader this category and other key vendors,” Yavuz said.

“Finally, a potential recession and economic challenges will force vendors to rethink the profitability vs sales focus in favour of the former and they will restructure their constrained marketing investment towards focusing on a high ROI models and channels,” he said.

[email protected]