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BMI forecasts 7% growth for the Kuwaiti consumer electronics market in 2012, with spending on devices
such as smartphones and tablets expected to benefit from a positive economic context. This surge in
spending is almost wholly government-driven, with household incomes having been boosted by a series
of public sector wage hikes and increased social benefits. There are signs that credit growth in the
domestic banking sector - which has been anaemic for the best part of two years - is beginning to pick
up. Moreover, the real estate market is also starting to recover, and was up by 8.4% in the first seven
months of 2012. Sales will also be boosted by growing popularity of flat-screen TV sets, Android
smartphones, notebook computers and tablets, and other premium products, as well as ongoing expansion
of the electronics retail sector.
Headline Expenditure Projections
Computer hardware sales: US$362mn in 2011 to US$394mn in 2012, +9% in US dollar terms.
Forecast in US dollar terms upwardly revised due to macroeconomic factors, following stronger
than expected growth in 2011.
AV sales: US$454mn in 2012 to US$484mn in 2013, +7% in US dollar terms. Forecast in US
dollar terms upwardly revised due to analyst modification, and product innovation will drive
continued growth in the flat-screen TV set category.
Handset sales: US$196mn in 2011 to US$218mn in 2012, +11% in US dollar terms. Forecast in
US dollar terms unchanged but operator promotions are driving strong growth in the smartphone
Kuwait's score was 58.1 out of 100. Kuwait ranked fourth in the MEA region in our latest RRR table,
behind the UAE, but ahead of regional peers such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Key Trends & Developments
Flat-screen TV sets will be the main driver of AV category sales growth over the forecast period
as consumers upgrade and trade their old models for digital. Product innovation will also boost
sales, with a focus on features such as 3D, improved display quality and larger, wider screens, as
well as design and wireless capabilities.
In the mobile devices sector, the upgrade of network infrastructure to support new data services
will help to drive demand for 3G phones and smartphones. Kuwaiti consumers have an
increasing demand for easy access to emails and other data services in Kuwait and when they are
travelling. Other drivers of smartphone sales include more competitive data tariffs from the main
The popularity of multimedia portable computers with wireless connectivity will continue to
provide opportunities. Vendors will look to new form factors such as tablets and the heavily
hyped ultrabooks, which are relatively high in price, but could provide a new boost to the PC
market in 2013.