Apple's iPhone sales have skyrocketed in the Middle East and Africa in 2015, according to the latest report by international technology market research firm Counterpoint Research .
In its "Market Monitor" report for the third quarter of 2015, Counterpoint indicated that the overall mobile phone market in the region grew 23 percent on-year, with the smartphone sector growing 31 percent, which is almost three times faster than the global smartphone growth.
The report indicated that Apple, which opened its first retail stores in the Middle East this year in the UAE, was the company that witnessed the highest growth in the smartphone market in the region, as it has more than doubled its smartphone shipments.
The global tech giant's iPhone shipments increased by 133 percent on-year, which caused its market share in the region to climb from 2.2 percent in the third quarter of 2014 to 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2015.
In addition, Apple entered the top five smartphone brands in terms of market shares in the Middle East and Africa in 2015 at No. 5, it was previously excluded from the list.
Moreover, 2015 saw Apple take smartphone market shares away from Samsung, which has largely been the reigning smartphone brand in the region.
Counterpoint's research indicates that Samsung's shares fell from 56 percent in the third quarter of 2013 to 50 percent in the third quarter of 2014 to 41 percent in the third quarter of 2015.
Despite the losses, the Korean company has maintained its position this year in the No. 1 spot on the list of the top five brands, which the report indicates is due to its stronger distribution network in the region that has helped it maintain significant volumes.
As for the other leading brands in the region, Tecno had a great 2015 as it doubled its shipments in just one year, increasing by 123 percent on-year and landing the Africa-based company the No. 3 spot on the list for the first time.
Huawei also witnessed a noticeable increase in market shares as its shares increased by 74 percent on-year, landing the China-based company the No. 2 spot behind Samsung.
The report highlighted that the Middle East and Africa's smartphone market is a "highly polarized" one, as the top eight brands contributed to almost three-fourths of the smartphone shipment volumes in the region.
It also indicated that the region is becoming a "key market for Chinese players," which explains Huawei's increased influence.
In addition, the report noted that the LTE smartphone sector was expanding in the region, as one in three smartphones shipped during the third quarter of 2015 was an LTE-enabled phone, which is encouraging more brands to include LTE phones in their 2016 plans.