Mobile can nowhere be more instrumental in connecting to the world than in the Middle East and Africa. With ever-expanding list of affordable smartphones and tablets introduced one after another, relatively lower-income population of two regions tend to resort more to their pocket devices to benefit the goodies of the net.
eMarketer’s latest research confirms that the mobile is the first means for internet access for most users in the Middle East and Africa, with over 90 percent usage rate since the beginning of 2013, placing them on the top of the list of mobile phone internet user penetration.
Estimates for 2014 is in line with the up-trend, predicting a 94 percent of mobile internet penetration for the region (that is, connecting to the net at least once a month via mobile phones), a slightly higher figure compared to 2013’s 92.7 percent which was already by far the highest in the world. MidEast and Africa will be followed by Asia-Pacific (87.4%) and Central and Eastern Europe according to eMarketer.
On average, 79.1 percent of internet users worldwide will be mobile phone internet users in 2014 and it won’t be until 2017 that most regions enjoy penetration rates at and over 90 percent.
However, as a percentage of mobile phone users, the Middle East and Africa still lags behind North America, eMarketer report says. Just over half of mobile phone users in the region will go online with their devices in 2014, while almost two-thirds of mobile phone users in North America will do so.