Smartphone users in Saudi Arabia – additional information
The number of smartphone users in the MEA region is expected to be on the rise in the coming years. In Saudi Arabia, for example, the number is projected to grow to almost 20 million by 2019. Although affordability led to a smartphone boom in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region in the past few years, its smartphone market growth has been slowing down, mirroring the global trend.
Smartphone sales in Middle East and Africa had a worth of more than 42 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, up less than 2 billion U.S. dollars from the previous year. This figure is forecast to increase by about one billion U.S. dollars in 2016. The annual growth rate of smartphone unit shipments in the region is projected to remain in the double digits through 2016 to reach more than 180 million units in 2016.
Smartphone penetration continues to rise across the MEA region in 2016, in parts due to its functionalities. By 2019, half of the population is forecast to be mobile internet users. The growth of the mobile payment industry also influenced the increasing number of smartphone users. The share of mobile users who have made a mobile payment in Middle East & Africa is expected to grow in the future, albeit at a slower rate than other countries. In 2015, Saudi Arabia was home to the second largest mobile online shopping user base out of the Middle East countries. Almost a quarter of the population made an online purchase via phone that year.