Apple takes bite out of MENA technology market

More than half of the region's population owns iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch - survey
Apple holds 55.8 percent of the region?s 9.1 million e-mobile population.
Apple holds 55.8 percent of the region?s 9.1 million e-mobile population.

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Apple has the lion’s share of the MENA region’s mobile device market with more than half of residents owning either an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, consultancy Effective Measure said.

The US technology giant beat out rivals Nokia and Research in Motion to net 55.8% of the region’s 9.1 million e-mobile population in October, the consultancy said in a report published Tuesday.

BlackBerry languished in second place with 7.6% market share, while Nokia rounded off the list with a 5.3% slice of the regional market, the report said.

Of the region’s 7.8 million Apple enthusiasts, 29% were iPhone users, 24% owned an iPad and two percent used the iPod Touch.

In Saudi Arabia, the region’s wealthiest economy, Apple has a solid market lead with 64.5% of the e-mobile population using its gadgets. The Arab world’s most populous state, Egypt, also favours Apple products with 28.7% of residents using an iPad.

Apple holds 33% of the e-mobile market in the UAE, but retailers in the Gulf state still report higher sales for BlackBerry devices over iPhone handsets.

Stores in the country said festive sales of the new iPhone 4S are not likely to unseat BlackBerry when it goes on sale later this month, thanks to the popularity of BlackBerry messenger.

Omar Abushaban, general manager for Plug-Ins, said Blackberry had a 40% share of smartphone sales at the retail chain compared with iPhone’s 30% stake.

At UAE distributor Jacky’s, Blackberry also outsells the iPhone at a ratio of 2:1.

Telco Etisalat and du both opened pre-orders of the iPhone 4S this week, with Etisalat offering the 16GB handset in a bundle of AED2,899.59.

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