Predictions 2023: The year ahead for consumer electronics – by Samsung’s Mohamed Al Azzawe

Customisation, sustainability and smart ecosystems will transform the electronics industry across MENA, writes Samsung's Mohamed Al Azzawe

By Mohamed Azzawe, marketing director – MENA at Samsung Electronics

Economies across the MENA region are recovering from the coronavirus pandemic faster than anticipated, largely due to the acceleration of mass vaccination campaigns and an increase in oil prices. With that, the rapid proliferation consumer electronics in MENA has witnessed robust consumer demand coupled with high spending potential. However, there are factors that brands should consider in terms of tech evolution, and trends to plug into that can catapult the industry to an even stronger future.

With the transformation in working arrangements coupled with the latest generation entering the workforce, brands need their tech to be just as flexible as these consumers’ work demands are. It’s never been more important to give consumers the power to customise their experiences, allowing them to multitask and link to Windows on the go, turning smartphones into a productivity powerhouse at work or at home. 

Outside the workplace, consumers are looking at products that will help ease the burden of household chores while leaning towards brands that are connected to their devices but, more importantly, can be customised to anticipate and perform tasks without manual control, providing a smarter home experience. Brands are expected to go beyond the norm of device-to-device connectivity to more need-to-know info, such as getting an alert that the fridge door has been left open.

Consumers are expecting tech giants to redefine their experience to be truly customisable from beginning to end. Strengthening links across their diverse businesses, electronics brands should create differentiated yet holistic products and services with an unwavering focus on being people-first to empower every individual to build experiences and environments that reflect their values and lifestyles. By bringing hardware and software together, electronics brands should envisage a product ecosystem built on experience-first innovation and customisation capabilities that ensure consumer lifestyles and needs are always supported. 

Unfolding a new era of possibilities 

Our own research tells us that foldables are another technological innovation that will shape tech-savvy consumers’ perspectives toward customisation.

Our premium foldable mobile devices have only been available for a few years – however, the manufacturer now claims that they will become more mainstream throughout the year, with an estimated 16 million units shipped worldwide by the end of 2022, up to 80 percent of which are expected to be from the Galaxy Z Fold and Flip lines. Thanks to Android 12L capabilities, foldable devices provide enhanced display of up to three apps simultaneously. 

Foldable smartphones will allow users to use their gadgets in ways that have previously been impossible. Because of their expanding nature, these devices can function as phones, tablets and even PCs. We may no longer need three distinct devices.  

We believe users should be empowered to play an active role in customising their devices. That’s why manufacturing giants should expand their bespoke offering to include more options, hence putting users at the centre of their mission and developing products aligned with consumers’ preferences and needs. 

As consumers embrace new preferences and attitudes for the future, industry reports reveal that pre-existing worries regarding consumers’ personal health, environmental sustainability and social impact have a greater affect than ever on purchasing decisions. Consumers are readier to interact with businesses that employ their expertise and resources to aid in the economic rehabilitation of the areas in which they operate. According to our research, 90 per cent of global users expect brands to be involved in causes to improve the world. Science and technology have made our lives easier and more convenient, thanks to the introduction of various innovative products and services into our daily routines. The downside of this has been the development of serious global environmental challenges, including climate change and resource depletion – issues that threaten the planet’s future. 

Electronics brands are advised to keep these factors in mind and continue to reimagine how products and consumers interact through technology. By championing an integrated platform and accelerating the market through partnerships with like-minded peers, the industry should innovate limitless technology built for individual lifestyles. In conclusion, the MENA electronics sphere would do well to focus on building a dynamic ecosystem that serves as the gateway to new experiences, inclusive technology and visionary ideas.