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MEA Mobile Phone Sales Rose 31.53% in Q1 2010
Jun 30, 2010

The mobile phone sales in the Middle East and Africa touched the level of 34.41 Million units in the first quarter of 2010 on the back of strong demand for Smartphones and touch screen phones.

According to Gartner, mobile phone sales in the Middle East and Africa region (MEA) stood at 34.41 Million units in the first quarter of 2010, an increase of 31.53% against the corresponding period a year ago (2009), as reported by gulfnews.

Smartphone sales surged to 3.4 Million units in the first quarter of 2010, up 29.92% compared to the same period in 2009. Moreover, Smartphones contributed nearly 9.88% of the total mobile handset sales in the first quarter of 2010.

In 2009, the MEA mobile handset market recorded marginal growth owing to the effects of the global economic crisis. However, the demand for mobile phones (particularly Smartphones) has been inflating since the global economy comes back on track. Rich messaging, mobile e-mail and social networking play an important in fueling demand for Smartphones across the region.

With the falling demand for mid-tier handsets, the competition among Smartphone manufacturers has intensified and forced them to innovate and differentiate their products in terms of software, content and hardware.

Moreover, there has been a paradigm shift in the consumer preference in the more mature markets. For instance – consumers in the UAE and Turkey are gradually migrating from simple voice telephony to the higher usage of applications and data. Therefore, both the service providers and handset manufacturers are set to fulfill the soaring demand.

Apart from this, the MEA region has recorded uptrend in the popularity of touch screen devices. Several vendors have already taken important steps and began to launch User Interfaces (UIs) truly optimized for touch input. Vendors are also improving their software skills to provide deeper integration of touch UIs with the underlying platform instead of software overlays.

With the technological advancement and strong demand, touch screen mobile are anticipated to grow more than double to 11.7 Million units this year – an increase of 120.75% against 5.3 Million units in 2009.

According to a Research Analyst at RNCOS, “The uptrend of mobile handsets sales is expected to sneak into the second quarter of 2010. The prime reason for prospective rise in mobile handsets sales is the introduction of new handsets in the market such as Apple’s iPhone 4G. In fact, the MEA mobile market will continue to be buoyant in the near future.”

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African Mobile Market Forecast to 2013
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Indian Telecom Analysis (2008-2012)