Western Europe, the United States and Eastern Asia were well ahead of the game when it comes to mobile devices. However, the rest of the world are now beginning to find their feet. We are witnessing sales figures for smartphones rising across the globe, in particular in the Middle East. The rise of this demand and supply of smartphones is creating whole new industries within these countries.
Advertisers in the USA have been collecting data in order to further understand consumer behaviour. The rise of smartphone use presents a whole new opportunity for marketing to phone users and collecting data about them. A company in one of the Middle Eastern countries, Plus7, which is owned by Clique Media, contacted thousands of people to complete a survey regarding how they use their mobile devices to find news and other information. Their survey spanned across seven countries: Egypt, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. A large chunk of the area within this region is very affluent thanks to wealth generated from oil, and they are in the perfect state for mobile growth and the accompanying advertising.
Main Points from Survey
The results of the survey noted a number of key points:
- In the Middle East, the majority of mobile phone usage was to access emails, social networks, news and other information.
- Over half of all people surveyed reported that they visit some sort of mobile app or website on a daily basis.
- The UAE is dominant over the other countries when it comes to app downloads. Over half of those surveyed said they had downloaded over 10 apps. Just fewer 50% were found to have only free apps, and 27% of those asked had between and 1 and 5 paid apps.
- Over half of those questioned said they prefer to pay with cash on delivery, as opposed to using credit cards.
Saudi Arabia is the wealthiest and the largest country in the area, and 47% of those surveyed there had a mobile data plan. It was also found that only 39% of women had a data plan, compared to 53% of men. Contrary to Western Europe and the United States, where mobile phone use is much higher among the younger demographics, mobile phone use in the Middle East is mainly from the older population. 52% of those aged 51 or older were found to have a data plan, compared to 56% of 36-to-50 year olds.
42% of Saudi Arabian respondents has accessed their mobile browsers for news sites and information, which is significantly higher than the 29% who used downloaded applications. When asked about the frequency of their visits to mobile apps/sites, 53% said that they would access them many times per day. New and information access is was the main use of mobiles within Saudi Arabia, and 46% of male mobile users said these sites were their preferred online activity.
It was found that women were more active on social media networks in Saudi Arabia, at 38% in comparison to 34% for news. It was also found that 60% of all respondents had accessed more than 10 apps, a sector which is dominated by 25-to-35 year olds. D
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