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Real Opinions research findings set to boost MENA region's smartphone app industry


12th July 2011, Dubai, UAE
Research results in Middle East with 2,950 respondents. To receive a copy of the full report, register at

Real Opinions and , the local investment fund helping to create a sustainable app development industry throughout the Middle East and North Africa region, has announced the findings of a comprehensive study on the current state and growth potential of the MENA region's app industry.

The objective of the research, which was sponsored by Research In Motion (RIM) and conducted by Dubai based market research company , was to examine and highlight the business potential of apps in the Middle East and to directly support the growth and development of the region's app industry.

David Ashford, General Manager , said, "Consumer consumption of Apps in the MENA region is growing at a fantastic rate; however, it is very different to other parts of the world and that's what makes this research so valuable. We need to ensure that the apps that are developed are what people living in this region want to consume, rather than what developers want to build."

"As an investment fund dedicated to the development of the industry, , receives hundreds of proposals for new apps every month. Therefore, it is imperative that we have access to accurate market intelligence to support us make us informed decisions on the projects we back," he concluded.

Conducted as an online survey, in both English (23%) & Arabic (77%), with almost 3,000 respondents, it is the intention of AppsArabia that this data will now be used by app developers to make informed choices when planning and marketing their apps in the region and to develop apps that are culturally relevant.

Dan Healy, CEO of Real Opinions, commented, "We have witnessed the dramatic evolution of the industry and yet there is a lack of information available on users regionally. Together with insight from David Ashford, the General Manager of AppsArabia, and the integral support of Research In Motion to make this a reality, we conducted this research to help fill some of these information gaps. We hope this will both encourage more investment in the industry regionally and helps more local app entrepreneurs and developersto be successful."

Research highlights:

1. 49% of users expect to upgrade in the next 6 months, 70% in the next 12 months.
2. 82% who don't have a want one and 54% expect to get their first one in the next 12 months.
3. 95% of users have apps installed.
4. Smartphone users have an average of 29 apps installed, while 40% have 10 or less.
5. 51% of smartphone users use apps all day long.
6. 73% like downloading apps that make their life easier and 57% are interested in game apps.
7. 82% of smartphone users with apps download at least once a week.
8. On average, smartphone users download 6 apps each month.
9. In the coming 12 months, 53% of all smartphone users claim they will be buying apps (30% said they wouldn't and 17% were not sure)
10. In the coming 12 months, 24% of all smartphone users claim they will spend more than $50 on apps.
11. 58% would trade their usage data and receive targeted advertising in return for free app
12. 52% recommend apps to friends while half as many (26%) give a simple rating score for those they don't know to see.
13. 33% find out about new apps from their friends while most are discovered doing a search on their smartphone (38%).
14. Just 14% would evaluate an app based upon general media coverage.
15. 62% of all smartphone users surveyed in the Middle East prefer apps to be in English while 39% of users who understand Arabic prefer apps to be in English.

About the Research
The research was conducted online survey using the Real Opinions online panel throughout the Middle East for 1 week from 6th to 13th April 2011 leading up to the conference ‘Planet of the Apps Arabia’. It was cconducted in both English (23%) & Arabic (77%) with n=2,950 respondents. The 12 month research result trends will be presented at ‘The Mobile Show’ 17-18 April 2012 in Dubai, UAE.

Media Coverage
PC World Middle East: Interview

About Real Opinions
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 with consultants in London and Singapore, Real Opinions has proven ability to help strategically guide organisations with 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 visit

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