Smartphone penetration in Qatar at 70%: ictQatar
DOHA QATAR has a high smartphone penetration at 75 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQatar) and Nielsen, an independent survey agency.
This is higher than Singapore and Kuwait which have 72 percent and 54 percent penetration respectively.
The survey was done in Qatar between December 2011 and January 2012 among the residents between the age of 15 and 64.
Random samples were collected from 1,012 individuals of both genders.
The survey was conducted in 11 countries including Qatar. The other countries were Kuwait, Singapore, the UK, Germany, Indonesia, Egypt, Thailand, Poland, Turkey and Russia.
Giving the survey findings, Velislava Metodieva, research specialist in ICT trends and indicators at ictQatar, said that smartphones in Qatar are mostly used by the younger age group of 15 to 34 years.
She said, “The ratio between male and female is almost equal in the use of the smartphone. The key factors for the purchase of mobile handsets is stylish design while key differentiating feature for smartphones are innovative features.” She also explained that the major smartphone companies in Qatar are Nokia, RIM Blackberry and Apple.
According to the survey, stylish design is the top criterion when purchasing a mobile and the average price paid for a smartphone is QR1,782 which is comparatively high.
As for the applications on the smartphones, Metodieva said, “Surprisingly, large majority of the respondents said they don’t have any apps in their handsets (67 percent) while even bigger portion of them (73 percent) have not downloaded or purchased applications on their mobiles in the past 30 days.” She also highlighted that BlackBerry app store is the most used app store, while Yahoo Mail is the most used email service.
The survey highlights that majority of smartphone users are very satisfied with their main mobile service providers and are willing to recommend them to others but customer awareness about the operating system on which their previous mobile phone worked is very low.
“Key reasons for not having a smartphone are that they are expensive and the lack of need for additional features and apps. Local and regional markets lack the application developer community,” Metodieva added.
The survey also pointed out that the global smartphone market is inclining towards Android largely due to its cost advantage. Companies like Samsung and HTC are utilising this most, by providing low cost smartphones for the mass segments.
Based on research projections, the market is expected to see some consolidation and entrance of new handset players in the near future. It is also observed that users who are wealthy and well-connected will continue to adopt advanced technologies for social status reasons rather than their practical features.