Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/28/2012 -- BMI expects the Iranian consumer electronics market to reach US$8.3bn in 2012, with growth constrained by the impact of US sanctions, currency devaluation, and subdued economic growth. The Iranian consumer faces a number of pressures, so demand for imported digital lifestyle products will remain constrained. In February 2012, the rial was subject to another 8% devaluation. The US-led drive to tighten sanctions against Iran has resulted in the US National Defense Authorization Act, However, Iran's steadily increasing population will support private consumption growth, while demand for consumer electronics will also be fuelled by new technologies and expanding internet and mobile telecoms penetration.
Headline Expenditure Projections Computer sales: US$4.4bnn in 2011 to US$4.5bn in 2012, +0% in US dollar terms. Forecast in US dollar terms upwardly revised due to analyst adjustment, but currency devaluation will constrain demand for imported PCs.
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AV sales: US$2.2bn in 2011 to US$2.2bn in 2012, +2% in US dollar terms. Forecast in US dollar terms unchanged, with the recent launch of digital broadcasting offering opportunities.
Handset sales: US$1.6bn in 2011 to US$1.6bn in 2012, +5% in US dollar terms. Forecast in US dollar terms downwardly revised due to macroeconomic factors, but Iran's youthful market should be a promising one for smartphones.
Risk/Reward Rating: Iran's score was 46.2 out of 100.0 with the lowest market risk score in the region dragging down high Potential Returns. Iran was in 8th place in our latest RRR table, but has potential to rise over time if the political situation improves and sanctions are lifted.
Key Trends & Developments
- Iran's gradual roll-out of digital TV at regional and township levels, a process that gathered pace in 2011, should stimulate replacement set purchases. In January 2012, Iran launched the first digital TV channel in the country after the digital broadcasting system was reportedly successfully tested in October 2011. TV set vendors will also focus on product innovation, with drivers including improved display quality and wider screens, as well as design and features such as wireless technology.
- A key aspect to keeping the handset market growing will be improving mobile network coverage. Mobile penetration rates in major urban centres are much higher than for the country as a whole, and therefore the biggest growth opportunity for handset vendors will be driven by expansion of mobile networks into rural areas. Although not all smartphone applications are accessible in Iran, possession of the devices is seen as a status symbol.
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