Half of Middle East, Africa Wants Tablets

July 5, 2011
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“We want a tablet!” say the people of the Middle East and Africa region. According to a survey conducted by Jefferies Research, almost half of survey respondents from the Middle East and Africa indicated strong desire for owning tablets.

This is hardly surprising news, since the adoption of a mobile lifestyle has helped drive tablet sales worldwide and in the Middle East and Africa. For instance, Samsung sold more than a million units of its Samsung Galaxy Tab within 3 months after initial launch. Ten percent of accumulated global sales came from the Gulf region.

If the Jefferies report were an indication of anything, it would be that of fast adoption of tablets in the Middle East and Africa, both of which are important markets for connectivity and mobility devices. Samsung is poised to take the lead role in this particular segment in 2012. According to a report by Morgan Stanley, the market demand for tablets can balloon to about 100 million in 2012.

Samsung sees more and more Middle Eastern and African consumers needing immediate connectivity and portability–both of which a tablet can provide. Samsung notes that the record growth and popularity of its tablets in the region can be attributed to Samsung’s creation of “products…catered towards Arabs and…fully equipped with Arabic content and Arabic lifestyle applications.”

The Jefferies report found that most tablet owners fall within the 25-44 age range. Most of those who are planning to buy a tablet also fall under the same age range. In this age group, casual and entertainment use is more predominant, although business use is also reported.

Tablets are fast becoming vogue all over the world primarily because they don’t burden the user as a laptop does and they are more powerful than netbooks. In short, tablets strike a good balance between portability/mobility and computing power. Moreover, the popularity of tablets can also be attributed to their ability for mobile multitasking and entertainment. About 75% of tablet owners use their tablets for tasks they’d perform on a desktop, laptop, or netbook–that is, to browse the Web, send/receive email, communicate through instant messaging, keep in touch with contacts via social networks, consume multimedia content, and simple (sometimes hard-core) gaming.

In turn, the rise of the tablet’s popularity has spurred an increase in demand for digital services and content not just in the Middle East and Africa but also in other parts of the world. As the demand for tablets continue to grow, you can expect more and more manufacturers to come up with competitively spec’d, competitively designed, and competitively priced tablet offerings in the coming months.

What tablet do you currently own and what do you use it for?

[Via Al Bawaba]

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