MENA: Future Bright for Consumer Electronics Industry

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Toshiba Laptop Keyboard
Consumer electronics giant Toshiba is a dominant player in the Middle East and Africa region and the company expects sales from its digital and electronics segment to grow to $1 billion by March 2013. Photo-toshiba

The growth of consumer electronics market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has resulted in fierce competition among major industry players. The industry has seen a positive trend in recent years due to an increasingly tech-savvy population, rise in tourism, and the introduction of innovative lifestyle products by manufacturers. Smart phones, tablets and smart TV’s remain some of the most popular products steering this industry boom.

Toshiba believes that the Middle East African region offers great promise. The company is set to grow its sales in the digital and electronics segment from $800m to $1bn by March 2013. The sales have been boosted by robust performance in personal computer and soft infrastructure products and services. Enjoying an estimated 22.5% market share, Toshiba is a dominant player in the Middle East African region.

According to Yasuyoshi Matsunaga, Toshiba’s Corporate Representative in the Middle East Africa region and President of Toshiba Gulf, “in the UAE, Toshiba PCs account for nearly 19% of the market share”.

Major manufacturers have done well to cater to the consumer demand for products which offer better connectivity, higher performance and speed, and greater quality. These products also offer more convenience to suit the lifestyle and individualized needs of each home. As a result, the sale of electronics have grown by an estimated 12 per cent in the UAE during first half of this year. The total sales value now stands at Dh 13.9 billion. Smart phones, tablets and smart TVs are driving this growth.

Dubai offers a strategic location to manufacturers, who re-export electronic goods in the region. Imported consumer electronics make up about 40 per cent of the domestic market. Higher volume of imports results in competitive re-export prices. The UAE also has a wide presence of regional distribution offices and assembling facilities.

However, stiff market competition has thinned retailer profit margins and traditional retail outlets are under growing threat of online shopping by consumers. At the same time, local manufacturers and assemblers are battling for survival against foreign imports. Re-exports to certain markets have also been on the decline in recent times due to unrest in Middle East.

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