MEA Smartphone Market Drops 4% YoY in Q1 2022 on Macroeconomic Concerns

  • MEA smartphone sales retreated 4% YoY in Q1 2022, mainly due to macro concerns.
  • Samsung sales dropped YoY but saw their market share rebound from the lows of H2 2021 due to renewed popularity of low-to-mid range devices.
  • Transsion brands saw their first sales drop since the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly due to weakness in Africa’s lower-segment markets.
  • New Chinese entrants Xiaomi and OPPO had a resilient quarter as the supply situation improved.

 London, Boston, Toronto, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – June 8, 2022

Smartphone sales in the MEA (Middle East and Africa) region fell 3.7% YoY in Q1 2022, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Pulse Service. Sales were expected to drop during Q1, which is typically a soft quarter, but demand was also dented by geopolitical worries elsewhere and increasing pressure on consumers due to commodity and food price increases.

MEA Smartphone Unit Sales Share, Q1 2022 vs Q1 2021

MEA Smartphone Unit Sales Share, Q1 2022 vs Q1 2021
Source: Counterpoint Research Market Pulse, Q1 2022 Notes: Xiaomi includes POCO and Redmi; OPPO includes OnePlus; Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding

Commenting on the performance of OEMs, Senior Research Analyst Yang Wang said, “Most key OEMs saw sales drop YoY, but this needs to be interpreted in the context of economic reopening in Q1 2021, which led to pent-up demand that manifested in an unusually high base effect. MEA leader Samsung saw sales and market share losses in Q1 2022, but this was a much more optimistic performance than what the numbers suggest. Despite lingering supply issues, Samsung’s new affordable A-series models proved to be popular in the region. Compared to other OEMs, the brand is best positioned in terms of supply chain and product mix, and we expect to see Samsung taking more market share from rivals in the next few quarters.”

Transsion brands saw their market share increase from 28% to 29% in Q1 2022, but they also saw a sales drop of 7.5% YoY during the quarter, their first sales drop since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was mainly due to the weakness seen by itel, the brand that is skewed heavily towards entry-level, lower-income African customers. On the other hand, Infinix continued to grow strongly on the back of impressive performance of its mass-market models in the Hot and Smart series. Looking ahead, customer demand in Transsion’s home market Africa is a reason for worry. Local currency depreciation may also put Transsion’s price competitiveness under pressure.”

Xiaomi and OPPO went through a tumultuous H2 2021 and are evidently still influenced by supply chain issues. But despite macro concerns, the two brands performed resiliently in Q1 2022. We expect their market share retreat to bottom out during the middle of the year.”

MEA Smartphone Sales YoY Growth Rate, Q2 2021-Q1 2022


Counterpoint Research - MEA Smartphone Sales YoY Growth Rate, Q2 2021-Q1 2022
Source: Counterpoint Research Market Pulse, Q1 2022

While growth has inevitably flattened across the MEA market in recent quarters, it is important to emphasize the regional differences within. In Q1 2022, the Middle East market managed to grow despite the economic headwinds. On the other hand, Africa is becoming a point of concern, having underperformed since H2 2021.

Since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, markets across the world have been pegged back by inflationary and foreign currency pressure. But the Middle East is an exception, with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries benefiting from increased oil revenues. The IMF has revised upwards its 2022 and 2023 GDP forecasts for the region by 1%. With the resumption of tourism, migrant population movements and business travel, the region’s smartphone market is poised to be the outperformer for the rest of 2022.

Weakness in Africa may persist throughout the year, as food price increases will force consumers to pause spending on big-ticket items like smartphones. At the same time, high levels of inflation are not foreign to most consumers in Africa. Consumer sentiment will certainly be hit, but drastic lifestyle changes are unlikely. And given the trend of urbanization, digitization and smartphone adoption across the continent, we can expect the African market to resume growth after the current situation eases.

Counterpoint Research’s market-leading Market Pulse and Model Sales services for mobile handsets are available for subscribing clients.

Feel free to contact us at for questions regarding our in-depth research and insights.

You can also visit our Data Section (updated quarterly) to view the smartphone market share for WorldUSAChina and India.


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

Analyst Contacts:

 Yang Wang


Follow Counterpoint Research

Counterpoint research is a young and fast growing research firm covering analysis of the tech industry. Coverage areas are connected devices, digital consumer goods, software & applications and other adjacent topics. We provide syndicated research reports as well as tailored. Our seminars and workshops for companies and institutions are popular and available on demand. Consulting and customized work on the above topics is provided for high precision projects.

Term of Use and Privacy Policy

Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited


In order to access Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited (Company or We hereafter) Web sites, you may be asked to complete a registration form. You are required to provide contact information which is used to enhance the user experience and determine whether you are a paid subscriber or not.
Personal Information When you register on we ask you for personal information. We use this information to provide you with the best advice and highest-quality service as well as with offers that we think are relevant to you. We may also contact you regarding a Web site problem or other customer service-related issues. We do not sell, share or rent personal information about you collected on Company Web sites.

How to unsubscribe and Termination

You may request to terminate your account or unsubscribe to any email subscriptions or mailing lists at any time. In accessing and using this Website, User agrees to comply with all applicable laws and agrees not to take any action that would compromise the security or viability of this Website. The Company may terminate User’s access to this Website at any time for any reason. The terms hereunder regarding Accuracy of Information and Third Party Rights shall survive termination.

Website Content and Copyright

This Website is the property of Counterpoint and is protected by international copyright law and conventions. We grant users the right to access and use the Website, so long as such use is for internal information purposes, and User does not alter, copy, disseminate, redistribute or republish any content or feature of this Website. User acknowledges that access to and use of this Website is subject to these TERMS OF USE and any expanded access or use must be approved in writing by the Company.
– Passwords are for user’s individual use
– Passwords may not be shared with others
– Users may not store documents in shared folders.
– Users may not redistribute documents to non-users unless otherwise stated in their contract terms.

Changes or Updates to the Website

The Company reserves the right to change, update or discontinue any aspect of this Website at any time without notice. Your continued use of the Website after any such change constitutes your agreement to these TERMS OF USE, as modified.
Accuracy of Information: While the information contained on this Website has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, We disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. User assumes sole responsibility for the use it makes of this Website to achieve his/her intended results.

Third Party Links: This Website may contain links to other third party websites, which are provided as additional resources for the convenience of Users. We do not endorse, sponsor or accept any responsibility for these third party websites, User agrees to direct any concerns relating to these third party websites to the relevant website administrator.

Cookies and Tracking

We may monitor how you use our Web sites. It is used solely for purposes of enabling us to provide you with a personalized Web site experience.
This data may also be used in the aggregate, to identify appropriate product offerings and subscription plans.
Cookies may be set in order to identify you and determine your access privileges. Cookies are simply identifiers. You have the ability to delete cookie files from your hard disk drive.