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Smartphones Set the Pace as MEA Handset Sales Top 64 Million Units in Q2 2014

IDC PMS4colorversion  300x99 Smartphones Set the Pace as MEA Handset Sales Top 64 Million Units in Q2 2014

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) handset market grew to its largest size in ten quarters in Q2 2014, expanding 27% year on year to total 64 million units. The latest insights from global advisory and consulting services firm International Data Corporation (IDC) show that the majority of this growth was seen in the smartphone category, with a major shift underway in the composition of the market. Indeed, smartphone share of the overall MEA handset market jumped 13 percentage points year on year to reach 40% in Q2 2014, with that figure reaching as high as 75–80% in some of the region’s more developed countries.

Within Africa, Egypt and South Africa posted the largest year-on-year handset shipment growth, at 37% and 32%, respectively. In the Middle East, that honor was taken by the UAE and Qatar, with respective growth of 27% and 32%. “The growth seen in countries like Egypt is due to ongoing economic and political recovery, while for countries like the UAE and Qatar that are still benefiting from successful bids to host Expo 2020 and FIFA 2022, it is simply the result of increased consumer demand stemming from economic growth and tourism,” says Nabila Popal, research manager with IDC’s Systems and Infrastructure Systems Group.

The remaining MEA countries also posted growth over the same quarter in 2013, despite some — such as Iraq and Syria — experiencing extreme levels of instability. “This universal growth is unique to this technology segment,” continues Popal. “This is because phones are no longer simply a means of communication between people. Indeed, smartphones are becoming a way of expression and a window to the rest of the world, and this aspect is proving particularly important in lesser developed countries that are suffering from unrelenting political turmoil.”

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How Mobile Is Mobilizing B-to-B Marketers

As mobile technology transforms the workplace, business-to-business marketers are making huge shifts in their strategies by forming new partnerships, changing marketing messaging and restructuring marketing organizations to reach mobile workers.

The market for mobile business services is skyrocketing. According to Forrester Research, revenue generated from mobile services sold to businesses will leap from $11.4 billion this year to $32.4 billion in 2018. This includes mobile-engagement services (such as analytics, experience design and back-end upgrades), mobile-device management and mobile-app-development services.

Meanwhile, mobile vendors report that an increasing percentage of their revenue is coming from businesses. AT&T last month created an organization to focus on business customers led by Ralph de la Vega, CEO of mobile and business solutions, saying b-to-b now makes up half of all revenue from wireless.

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IDC Forecasts Worldwide Mobile Applications Revenues to Experience More Than 60% Compound Annual Growth Through 2014

IDC News Release, 12/13/10

Application developers have churned out more than 300,000 mobile apps in just over three years. In 2010, mobile apps made the leap from the smartphone to media tablets. In 2011 and beyond, mobile apps will find their way into even more devices, including connected TVs and, by extension, the connected home. According to a new International Data Corporation (IDC) forecast, the market for mobile applications will continue to accelerate as the number of downloaded apps is expected to increase from 10.9 billion worldwide in 2010 to 76.9 billion in 2014. Worldwide mobile apps revenues will experience similar growth, surpassing $35 billion in 2014.

One of the most striking impacts of the extraordinary growth and evolution of the mobile apps space over the past three years has been the “appification” of broad categories of interactions and functions in both the physical and the digital worlds.

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