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Mobile Internet expected to overtake desktop computers for business users


20th July 2009, Dubai, UAE

The age of mobile convenience is upon us. Similar to the growth experienced with the Internet, the mobile Internet in the Middle East is set to dramatically escalate with new devices and applications to feed the demand of the ‘right here, right now’ generation of Internet users.

Research conducted by the Dubai based market research company Real Opinions shows that for business people online in the Middle East, usage of mobile phones to regularly access the Internet is expected to exceed 50% in the first quarter of 2010. This represents an increase of 20% since the same time in 2008. This is in stark contrast to the fixed desktop computer which is expected to decrease by 20%. The usage of laptop computers is expected to remain relatively constant with 3 in 4 regularly using them to access the Internet.

These trends are also happening globally where a recent New Media Age article in the UK reported that the number of British mobile Internet users increased from 2.8 million in May 2008 to 4.3 million in May 2009.

Dan Healy, CEO of Real Opinions who conducted the research in the Middle East, added “The initial growth of the Internet first happened with mainly those under 35 year old and business people. Today, we are seeing similar trends with those using mobile Internet devices where these early adopters of new technology are leading the way for others to follow. The sheer convenience of the mobile Internet is expected to power uptake with instant access to emails and social networking websites being particularly popular. Twitter is a great example of fusing the Internet with mobile devices and we expect more sophisticated application to be developed like this as attention turns to mobile.”

Research from Real Opinions also shows that for business people online in the Middle East, although 89% of respondents claim to have looked for official information about products, 81% claim they are likely to also look for unofficial information about products in the form of personal recommendations and reviews.

Healy added, “Access to price comparison and product information websites while shopping using mobile Internet devices is expected to present both challenges and new opportunities for businesses in the region. And its not just about passively reading comments of others – its also expected to become a very participatory experience online with 78% claiming they are likely to enter their own comments in an online discussion about products.”

Healy further commented on these findings, “These evolving mobile Internet trends are also having an impact on our own market research industry where the challenge is to develop new techniques to capture these new trends to help strategically guide businesses decision makers.”

Real Opinions has responded by launching the Middle East’s first website audience measurement tool Effective Measure which profiles the actual Internet usage (analytics), demographics and lifestyle of visitors to websites. In this context, it also importantly records the percentage visiting using mobile Internet devices. Healy said, “This will allow website publishers to monitor the growth of mobile devices used to visit their website and help them assess if they’re including accessible content for them.”

To capture the ‘right here, right now’ generation of mobile Internet users, Real Opinions has also launched their mobile survey product which allows people to answer questions using their mobile phone. Respondents can answer either after receiving an invitation text/SMS or invite themselves after sending a keyword text/SMS to a number (i.e. a push or pull approach). They will then automatically receive a series of questions as they respond to each. Healy added, “This is ideal for clients who want instant feedback when respondents are at a particular location or moment in time and access to these real-time results. This is particularly useful for events, sponsorship feedback, media consumption and mystery shopping where having these results will allow them to fully assess a situation at that crucial moment of truth. It’s an extra tool we can use to provide clients with a multimodal research approach to suit their requirements.”

About Real Opinions
Real Opinions is bringing the 'Effective Measure' solution to the Middle East and beyond. Real Opinions is a full-service market research company, specialising in online media, with global and Middle East research expertise and best practice. Based in Dubai and London, Real Opinions has proven ability to help strategically guide communication, insight and assess the effectiveness of campaigns.

Real Opinions is an accredited member of ESOMAR, an international organisation for market research. For more information about us and this study, please visit

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