With the highest penetration of mobile phones in the Middle East, UAE is likely to continue the surge in the sales of mobile phones.
It is estimated that sales of mobile handsets in the UAE would exceed 2.5 million this year (2007). Already, there is a 125% rise in mobile subscription, second to none in the Middle East. In a country with a population of 4.1 Million, 2.5 Million handsets would imply that 60% of the country’s population gets a new handset every year. But that is in terms of statistics alone, as reality differs with a majority of the handsets being shipped to other markets, according to the news on Gulf News.
In the UAE the shelf life for a handset ranges from six to eight months. Gulf News quoted S B Kim, president of Samsung Electronics Gulf saying, "Due to a changing lifestyle, most people look for upgradation in services and new enhanced models to suit their growing needs."
With the UAE already having the highest mobile penetration in the Middle East, entry of a second telecom operator in the country would increase the likelihood of the trend continuing for a few years longer. The probability is increased by the much higher saturation level for mobile subscription in the UAE in comparison to other countries in the region.
The expectation for the near future is a rise in saturation level for mobile subscription in the UAE to as much as 150%. The main cause is on account of users in the country adopting the trend to subscribe to multiple mobile lines. Another reason is the higher number of visitors in relation to its population in the UAE at any point of time compared to other countries in the region. Many of such visitors subscribe to prepaid mobile services and hold on to the SIM cards for future visits.
As per the RNCOS research analyst, “UAE is a lucrative market for mobile phone companies. In addition to the high per capita income, there is sufficient room for growth. Growth is also being fuelled in the mobile phone business in the UAE by the high percentage of young users of mobile phones in the subscriber base. Youngsters are in the habit of constantly changing handsets to keep pace with the latest fashion trends as well as to experience new features that are periodically added to mobile handsets.
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