Two different researches revealed that the smartphone penetration in the Middle East and Africa has leapt this year, mainly due to significant rise in oil-rich countries. Lebanon, which is not in this category, show the most impressive growth though, almost doubling the penetration of smartphones in the country from 36% to 63% within a year.
According to Ipsos MediaCT predictions, penetration was highest in Saudi Arabia (79%) and the United Arab Emirates (72%) in 2013. Egypt, on the other hand, has the lowest penetration figure among the researched countries, with 6% of the population using a smartphone in 2013, up just 1 percentage point from 2012.
eMarketer’s estimates, on the other hand, covers a larger area in the MEA region, and says the number of smartphone users in the region has jumped 33.2% to reach 156.4 million. This is slightly over one-quarter of mobile phone users and 11.3% of the entire MEA population.
Promising rise in smartphone penetration in the MEA may well owe a lot, among many other things, to ever-decreasing prices of the devices, like elsewhere in the world.
International Data Corporation predicts that cheaper smartphones will continue to enter the market in MEA over the next few years. Forecasts says that the average selling price of smartphones in MEA would drop from $338 to $230 between 2013 and 2017.