SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. maintained its leading position in the smartphone market of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region in the fourth quarter of 2020, a report showed Monday, although its gap with Apple Inc. has narrowed.
The smartphone shipments in the Gulf region grew 2.3 percent on-quarter to 4.26 million units in the last three months of 2020, and Samsung accounted for 42 percent of them, according to market tracker International Data Corp. (IDC).
Samsung's market share was down from 45 percent in the third quarter of 2020, data showed.
"Samsung saw shortages of certain key models, leading to a quarter-on-quarter decline in shipments of 4.1 percent," IDC said. "The majority of Samsung's model portfolio continues to be made up of low-end and midrange devices, leading to a decline in the vendor's overall value share."
In contrast, Apple saw its market share increasing to 23 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 15 percent three months earlier, after its iPhone shipments posted on-quarter growth of 55.7 percent.
Chinese brands Xiaomi Corp. and Huawei Technologies Co. were third and fourth, respectively, with market shares of 11 percent and 18 percent in the GCC market.
In terms of value, the GCC smartphone market grew 39.5 percent on-quarter to US$1.62 billion in the October-December period, IDC data showed, while 5G devices accounted for 16.5 percent of all smartphone shipments in the Gulf region.
Saudi Arabia accounted for 49.4 percent of smartphone shipments in the GCC region in the fourth quarter, followed by the United Arab Emirates with 26.1 percent.
IDC expected the GCC smartphone market to decline 0.7 percent in the first quarter from the past three months.
"Supply constraints will likely continue to hamper growth in the region due to chipset and component shortages across most smartphone brands in the first half year," it said.
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