Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/26/2012 -- BMI expects the Bahrain IT market will grow by around 6% in 2012, despite the recent political unrest on the streets of Manama. BMI expects Bahraini consumption of digital lifestyle products such as smartphones and smart TV sets to hold up relatively well in 2012, particularly following recent hikes to public sector salaries. The 15% wage increase for all civil servants in August will certainly help in this regard, as will the ongoing rise in total employment in the private sector. Household spending in Bahrain is forecast to tick higher in 2012 and despite remaining economic uncertainties, increased demand for mobility and lower prices, as well as greater vendor and channel sales flexibility will drive demand, along with a resumption of low single-digit population growth. Demand for new technologies such LED and 3D TV sets and 3G phones and smartphones will also provide growth opportunities.
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Headline Expenditure Projections
Computer sales: US$209mn in 2011 to US$220mn in 2012, +6% in US dollar terms. Forecast in US dollar terms unchanged and growth areas will include notebooks, tablets and ultrabooks.
AV sales: US$330mn in 2011 to US$349mn in 2012, +6% in US dollar terms. Forecast in US dollar terms unchanged, with the main driver being demand for flat-screen TV sets.
Handset sales: US$73mn in 2011 to US$79mn in 2012, +8% in US dollar terms. Forecast in US dollar terms downwardly revised due to analyst modification, but demand for smartphones will continue to expand.
Risk/Rewards Rating: Bahrain's score was 51.1 out of 100.0, with a lower Country Risk score constraining its overall rating. Bahrain took 7th place in our latest RRR table, but provided that the political situation stabilises, the country should continue to be a lucrative market for consumer electronics devices over the forecast period.
Key Trends & Developments
- In the consumer PC segment, increasing internet and broadband penetration remains a key driver. Bahraini telecoms operators such as Zain have launched a series of new services and promotions targeted at PC users. The packages allowed subscribers to choose from a selection of payment instalment plans.
- We expect Bahraini AV sales will be maintained in 2012 by product innovation, with drivers including improved display quality, wider screens as well as design and features such as wireless technology.
- Demand for so-called 'smart TV sets has grown as consumers see TV sets as more than simply entertainment devices. Many TV sets from Bahraini electronics retailers now offer features such as DNLA and Wi-Fi for easy sharing of photos, music and movies.
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