DOHA: The emerging popularity of smartphones has already penetrated 75 percent of Qatar’s population which is slightly higher than the more technologically advanced Singapore which has 72 percent and way up higher than Kuwait with only 56 percent.
A survey conducted by ictQatar in collaboration with Nielsen also showed that younger age group from 15-34 which is split evenly between males and females are the ones who mostly use smartphones of the leading brands.
The survey conducted face-to-face between December 2011 to January 2012 from a random of 1,012 persons was presented by Velislava Metodieva, research specialist, ICT Trends and Indicators of ictQatar on the topic “ Smartphone Usage in Qatar”, during yesterday’s edition of Everything Mobile Forum at Sharq Village and Spa.
According to the report, leading brands such as Nokia, BlackBerry and Apple are the key players in the Qatari smartphone market since most owners are satisfied with its usage features while Sony Ericsson and Samsung have lower satisfaction ratings.
The growing local smartphone patronage has brought Qatar on a widening edge from its GCC neighbours based on another research by Booz & Company early last year which showed that UEA had only 15 percent penetration and 11 percent in Saudi Arabia.
It could be noted that Apple with newly-released models of iPhone and iPads has gained the best brand momentum while Nokia which still maintained dominance in non-smartphone category seems to be losing ground slowly, the survey said.
Amongst the recent smartphone owners, Blackberry has the highest consideration-to-conversion rate at 92 percent.
Many users who tend to buy brand new smartphone pay more at an average price of QR1,782 or $490 which is comparatively high than in other countries like Singapore, UK and Turkey but slightly lower from Kuwait at US $516.
Surprisingly, 67 percent of respondents don’t have any apps in their handsets while a bigger portion at 73 percent have not downloaded or bought applications on their smartphones in the past 30 days.
Many respondents did not care about privacy during collection of personal data by app providers with only 15 percent of the local users having serious concerns against 48 percent in Singapore.
Those who have apps have installed at least eight free than five who paid for it with music-related apps as the most popular. BlackBerry app store is the most used app while Yahoo Mail is the most used email service.
Interestingly however, the survey said most respondents buy mobile handsets because of its stylish design but will differ only on innovative features.
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