Samsung and Apple have consolidated market share in sales for the second quarter of the year in the Middle East and Africa region even as smartphone shipments dipped 10 percent for the same Q2 period overall.
Macro headwinds have turned the tide with a 7.8% dip year on year and reflecting brands’ enthusiasm, according to a latest research report from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor Service.
The research report by Yang Wang says: “The biggest drag on the market was, unsurprisingly, macro issues. Inflation induced by food and fuel shortages dampened consumer demand while declining domestic currencies against the US dollar reduced the purchasing power of consumers.”
There were also secondary macro factors that impacted the market. For example, some governments imposed food export bans or “non-essential” goods import bans to stem the outflow of foreign currency reserves. Taxes on electronics products were also increased, adding more hurdles to the market’s smooth operation.
The market leader, Samsung, grew YoY from a relatively low base in Q2 2021 when it faced COVID-19 disruptions at its Vietnam production facilities.
The new and revamped Galaxy A-series devices have performed well and were among the best-selling devices during Q2. Samsung’s shipments are expected to grow in H2 with the upcoming launch of its new generation of foldables and as end-of-year sales approach.
Apple’s shipments also grew 2% YoY, largely due to better distribution and product availability in GCC countries. The iPhone 13 series has the best-selling premium devices in the region since its launch.
However, other brands apart from these two took a hit in the numbers. Given the pessimistic global macro sentiment, some brands have restrained activities in the region, according to the report. Brands were under pressure to streamline budgets and activities, which were redirected to more strategic markets and regions.
This meant that incentives to push brand penetration in MEA were scaled back, which in turn forced distributors and resellers to raise prices to defend their margins. These headwinds led to declining shipments for many OEMs.
OPPO, Realme, Vivo and Xiaomi saw steep YoY declines in their Q2 shipments. The OEMs continue to struggle in establishing a foothold in the region, as weak distributor incentives and supply issues have plagued the brands throughout H1 2022.
Furthermore, stiff competition from regional stalwarts Samsung and Transsion Group’s TECNO and Infinix has curtailed market share for the challenger brands. However, the ramping up of local production in Pakistan, specifically for OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi, could help ease supply issues in the region. But it is unlikely to have any substantial effect in 2022.
Despite the underwhelming market performance in the first half of the year, there are some reasons to be cautiously optimistic about the rest of the year.
Though inflation has reached double digits in many countries across MEA, it is not a new phenomenon and most customers have experienced these episodes in the recent past. This has brought them the ability to adapt quickly to the new economic realities. Also, the average selling prices of smartphones are continuing to trend up in the region, suggesting increasing digitization and customers’ need for more sophisticated handsets.
The easing of the global semiconductor shortage, which led to severe product availability issues for MEA in 2021, is also expected to help the market find a stronger footing once the economic issues subside.
Bollywood star Ajay Devgan invests in World Championship Of Legends to be held in England
Indian superstar Ajay Devgn is making a strategic investment in the upcoming World Championship Of Legends, a highly anticipated Global T20 Tournament set to take place at Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham, England. The tournament is scheduled to run from 3rd July to 18th July, featuring legendary players.
Talking about taking his love for cricket to the next level, Actor Ajay Devgn shares, “As a cricket enthusiast, this championship is an incredible event where legendary cricketers will be back on the field. These players are celebrated globally and watching them play again is a dream for every cricket lover.”
The star-studded event is proposed to include cricketing legends such as Yuvraj Singh, Brett Lee, Kevin Petersen, Suresh Raina, Shahid Afridi and many more who will add their brilliance and experience to the competition.
WCL is being presented by the renowned Indian travel company EaseMyTrip.
Nishant Pitti, the CEO & Co-founder of EaseMyTrip, stated, ‘EaseMyTrip has been associated with many cricketing and sporting events in the past, but WCL has a unique feel to its structure. It’s nostalgic, bringing back our cricketing legends together, and that too in England. It’s going to be amazing. Moreover, I have always admired Mr. Ajay Devgn, and I am sure the combination of Cinema and Cricket will be an amazing gift to all the fans across the globe.”.
The World Championship Of Legends 2024 proposes to host six teams – India, Pakistan, Australia, England, West Indies, and South Africa. This international clash of legends is expected to captivate cricket enthusiasts worldwide.
Harshit Tomar, the visionary founder of the World Championship Of Legends, expressed his delight at the unfolding partnership with Ajay Devgn. “We are thrilled to welcome Indian Legend Mr. Ajay Devgn as part of this journey. Have always been his fan and love his aura and I am sure his involvement will take our WCL to next level. His passion for the game and commitment to promoting cricket align perfectly with the values of the World Championship Of Legends. With an expected list of renowned and esteemed players, we are confident that WCL 2024 will be an unparalleled success.”
As cricket fans eagerly await the commencement of the tournament, the World Championship Of Legends is gearing up to deliver a spectacular cricketing extravaganza, showcasing the best of the best in T20 cricket
PBG Eagles crowned World Tennis League champions in Abu dhabi
PBG Eagles clinched the Meteora World Tennis League Season Two title after producing an impressive team performance to beat SG Mavericks Kites 29-26 in Sunday’s final in Abu Dhabi.
They were awarded the winning trophy by His Excellency Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council during a presentation ceremony that was also attended by Rajesh Banga, Chairman and Founder of WTL, Sunil Matthew CO Founder and Praveen Sharma, Chairman of Meteora Developers.
Also in attendance were Omar Almour, Co Founder and Partner and Nishant Pittie, Founder and Chairman of Ease My Trip. As well as winning the trophy, Eagles won AED 1 million while Kites took AED 500,000.
In front of a large crowd at the Etihad Arena, Kites made a perfect start to the match although Stefano Tsitsipas and Paula Badosa had to work for their 7-6 victory in the opening set against Mirra Andreeva and Daniil Medvedev.
Eagles bounced back in the Women’s Doubles as Andreeva and Sofia Kenin battled from 5-2 down to register a hard-fought 7-5 win, taking a one-point overall lead going into the last three sets.
The Men’s Doubles saw Kites’ Medvedev and Andrey Rublev extend their team’s lead after coming out on top 6-3 against Eagles’ Grigor Dimitrov and Lloyd Harris.
Eagles were again celebrating as Kenin, ranked 33 in the world, caused an upset against World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka in the Women’s Singles. The 25-year-old American broke in the fifth game and held her serve from then on to register a 6-4 win.
Kenin’s victory meant Eagles had a six-point lead going into the final encounter of the evening – the Men’s Singles between Rublev and Dimitrov. Rublev broke in the second game to give Eagles an advantage and although Dimitrov won the set, it was not enough to deny Eagles the title.
Deccan Gladiators captain Nicholas Pooran, Northen Warriors skipper Angelo Mathews eye record third trophy
In anticipation of another explosive season of cricket’s fastest format, Abu Dhabi T10 2023 edition, announced the captains for the season at a press conference held in Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. West Indies heavy hitter Nicholas Pooran, who led Deccan Gladiators to a title win in the previous edition has been retained as a Captain by the defending Champions for the upcoming seventh edition, which will take place between November 28th and December 9th. Meanwhile, the runners-up of last season New York Strikers and Morrisville Samp Army will also continue with veteran allrounders Kieron Pollard and Moeen Ali as Captains, respectively.
The remaining teams made a change in leadership as Sikandar Raza handed over the reins for The Chennai Braves to Charith Asalanka, whilst Northern Warriors named Angelo Mathews as Captain, and Delhi Bulls named Rovman Powell as skipper for the season. Team Abu Dhabi picked Dwaine Pretorius to lead the side whilst Bangla Tigers made a surprise pick in Benny Howell as Captain.
All the Captains, in attendance at the Press Conference made their intentions clear for the season. Pooran, who was also the highest run-scorer of the last season with 345 runs in 10 matches at an average of 49.29 and a strike rate of 234.69, said that he wishes to win the record third title for Gladiators this season.
“It was a good season for me the last time around, and I was happy to contribute to the team’s success, not only as Captain but also as a batsman. Our target this year is to retain the trophy and we will continue to play the kind of cricket we like to play. It would be an honour for me to lead Gladiators to a record third title this time around. I am ready to take up any role the team wants me to,” Pooran said.
Presently, Gladiators and Northern Warriors are the only two teams to have won two titles. The Warriors have made a strong choice in Mathews as skipper, who has been one of the most successful Captains for Sri Lanka in international cricket.
“I am grateful to be considered to lead Northern Warriors, a franchise that has already achieved massive success in this league. Warriors have already won two trophies and I would love to bring the trophy back to the team so that we all can script history together. This is an exciting format, and the fans can expect big things from our side in the 7th season,” Mathews said.
Meanwhile, Strikers and Morrisville will look to use Pollard and Moeen’s familiarity with the format once again to boost their chances of getting their hands on the trophy. Pollard said he wants to finish the job this season.
“We came so close to winning the title last season, but the final was a lesson for us. We now know the temperament that is needed in big matches, and we will look to use that knowledge to our advantage. We have a solid squad, and we are ready to go all the way this time,” he said.
Moeen Ali said that such a quick format is a test of players’ skills. “While one may feel that T10 is all about big shots, and heavy hitting, it is also about recognising and adapting to situations quickly and efficiently when you are out there. In such a short time, anything can happen. We must be ready for Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C and if we do that, we will be in a good position to win the whole thing.”
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka top-order batter Asalanka will be leading the side in place for Raza, and he admitted he has big shoes to fill. “Sikandar Raza enjoys a massive fan following and support in this part of the world. I am excited to take over the reins as Captain for the Braves and will look forward to leading the team. We must take one game at a time, but our goal is to make the playoffs and set ourselves up for a chance to play in the all-important Final.”
Delhi’s choice of giving Captaincy to Powell is another interesting move as the West Indies batting allrounder led Northern Warriors last season and scored 196 runs in 7 matches at a whopping strike rate of 245. “I was in good form in the previous edition and also gained experience in leading a team in this format. Now, with a new squad and a new franchise, I am even more motivated to perform. We want to see Delhi Bulls get their hands on the trophy once again – and we must stick to our plans in in order to do so,” Powell said.
Team Abu Dhabi decided to put their stocks on bowlers during the draft, and backing their bowling unit, named South Africa speedster Pretorius as the Captain. In 10 games last season, Pretorius was the leading wicket-taker with 12 scalps to his name at an average of 13.08.
“This is a good chance for me to change the mindset that short formats are only for the batters. The bowlers also have an equally important role to play, especially fast bowlers who start the attack with the new ball. They have very little time to get used to the track and implement their plans and get crucial wickets in the first three overs, and that is what we will try to do in every game,” Pretorious said.
Bangla Tigers, meanwhile, have named veteran English domestic talent Benny Howell and are banking on his experience to make their way into the top four. “I am delighted to lead Bangla Tigers as Captain this year. It is an important year for us – as we want to make it to top four. We have an impeccable squad, but we will have to work together as a collective unit. If we can all perform to our abilities, we are hard to beat,” he signed off.
Abu Dhabi T10 2023 will be broadcast on CricLife3 available on Etisalat, Elife IPTV, Switch TV, and Starzplay in UAE-MENA. It will also be aired in Pakistan on channel A Sports and live streamed on TapMad. Indian fans can watch the season on Viacom Sports 18 2 (Hindi) and on Jio Cinema app. The tournament this season, will also air on Supreme TV in Sri Lanka, on BT Sport in the United Kingdom, on ESPN in the Caribbean, on Willow TV in North America, on T Sports in Bangladesh, and Fox Sports in Australia.
Cricket fans in UAE can buy the Abu Dhabi Season 7 Tickets online for just AED 10 via: https://events.q-tickets.com/uae/eventdetails/4013826602/abu-dhabi-t10-season-7.