Smartphone accessories market grows exponentially every month [Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)]
(Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dubai: Quick search in Amazon.com's accessories category for "iPhone" turns up 2,605,095 results while for "Samsung Galaxy" turns up 1,522,152 results. So this shows how big the mobile accessories market is.
"The accessories market, which includes covers and chargers, is growing exponentially month on month and prices are getting lower and lower. Companies are offering more value for money," Patrick Hayati, vice-president for emerging markets at Protoz Electronics, told Gulf News.
Protoz produces covers for iPhones, iPads, Samsung, HTC smartphones and tablets.
He said around 10 new accessories companies enter the market every month and it is becoming extremely competitive.
The branded accessories market is "worth $100 million in the Middle East compared to $70 million last year while the overall accessories market is worth $200 million in the region. Last year, the market was worth $140 million," he said.
He said iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphones are the top two in the tablet range.
"The demand for ultra-fashionable expensive covers with diamonds and crystals are not very big. Customers see covers as a disposable item and change it very often. Covers are no more fashionable at the moment. Couple of years ago it was a fashion," Hayati said.
Neelesh Bhatnagar, Chief Executive Officer of Emax Electronics, said that all the retailers are taking the accessories segment very seriously as there is a margin. So the retailers display it prominently at its stores and are witnessing the results. He said women buy one phone and three to four covers to match their clothes. The awareness for accessories is growing in a big way.
Because of the huge demand, "we are taking these accessories to fashion stores and the responses have been good. Right now, 15 per cent our total sales come from accessories and it was only five per cent two years ago," Bhatnagar said.
Pelican, which makes protective cases for firefighters, police, military and aerospace, has entered the Middle East consumer smartphone accessories market.
"We make weapons cases for US Army and own 55 per cent market share of the Middle East armies. The consumer market is growing across the world and has opened a great opportunity for our ProGear products," Ahmad Khodeir, business development manager at Pelican Middle East, said.
Pelican makes extremely tough protective cases for Apple and Samsung products.
"We foresee a great deal of business opportunities in the consumer market. Our cases are crash proof and offers lifetime warranty," he said.
According to studies, people who buy covers for Samsung phones change more often than iPhones. On average people change covers every two to three months.
Smartphone vendors like Samsung, LG and Sony are coming out with their own covers for their devices to boost profits as margins from handsets are getting squeezed.
Hayati is of the view that covers from the same brand adds little value in terms of sales because customers buy covers based on design, style and price. That is why cheap Chinese covers are gaining popularity because they offer multitude of designs and at a lesser price.
"Branded covers witness only a small percentage of sales but much of the sales are happening through other brands. Branded covers are expensive and people prefer to buy other brands as they are more funky and fashionable," Bhatnagar said.
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