Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/14/2014 -- Bahrain's consumer electronics market is one of the smallest in the region due to the size of the population. This means that devices are mostly distributed via regional hubs, as it is not cost effective for global vendors to have a local presence. Despite its small size there are considerable opportunities in Bahrain due to the high incomes in the country - and the propensity of the local population to spend on consumer electronics equipment. Smartphones and tablets are the fastest-growing device categories in the market, although big-ticket items such as LED and 3G TV sets will also contribute to the market's expected expansion. While there are many positive aspects to Bahrain's market, it should be noted that civil unrest and an unstable political outlook pose downside risks to our forecasts for the sector's growth.
Headline Expenditure Projections
- Computer Sales: The market will increase from US$251mn in 2014 to US$323mn in 2018. Over our forecast period, we expect that tablets and notebook hybrids will dominate the consumer market, while demand from SMEs will also support growth.
- AV Sales: The largest sector of the consumer electronics market will be driven by demand for flat-screen TV sets, taking the value of the overall market from US$400mn in 2014 to US$495mn by 2018. The launch of next-generation games consoles in Q4 2013 resulted in a small boost to sales.
- Handset Sales: We predict a rise from US$86mn in 2013 to US$92mn in 2014. The smartphone market is the fastest-developing segment of Bahrain's consumer electronics market, with Samsung keeping a tight grip on its market leadership while global challengers such as Apple, Huawei and Nokia maintain a strong presence.
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Key Trends And Developments
The tablet and smartphone markets have proved the most dynamic and competitive segments of the consumer electronics markets in Bahrain, and competition is expected to become more intense in 2014. BMI has highlighted the threat to the leading Android vendor, Samsung Electronics, from Chinese rivals, particularly Huawei. In October 2013, Huawei opened its logistics hub in Dubai's Jebel Ali Free Zone, which the company estimates will allow it to store orders locally and shorten delivery times by up to 30 days for ocean shipments. The logistics hub is a symbol of the increased attention Huawei is paying to the Middle East market, including Bahrain. The brand's cost efficiency, combined with its growing brand reputation, will prove a serious challenge to established players in this market.
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