For the majority of MENA Internet users access to the web was first possible through mobile phones. According to statistics from eMarketer, mobile usage in the emerging markets is prevalent, with more than nine in ten web users going online through mobile devices.
The forecast shows that in 2014, around 94 percent of all Internet users across the Middle East and Africa will access the web on the phones at least once every month, which is a nearly 2 percent increase from 2013. The firm also predicts that only 79.1 percent of global web users will go online via their smartphones in 2014. Globally, the penetration rates of around 90 percent or more, which the Middle East is now displaying, won’t be possible until 2017. According to the report which estimates the mobile phone Internet user penetration in the world, the regions with the lowest rates are Latin America with 51.8 percent in 2013 and Western Europe, with 57.2 percent over the previous year. The rates will slowly increase until 2017, when Middle East and Africa and the Asia-Pacific region will boast with the largest percentage of mobile Internet users.
The report also focuses on the number of mobile users, compared to Internet users. The Middle East and Africa region is second to North America, when it comes to mobile users’ Internet penetration. While in North America, nearly 65 percent of mobile phone users will go online in 2014, only 54.4 percent of mobile users in the Middle East and Africa intend to access the Internet.
The report collects and analyzes data from various government agencies, research firms, media outlets and private companies’ reports. It also takes into consideration both local and worldwide trends in the economy, technology and population, as well as the specific consumer behaviors. A range of demographic, national, company- and product-related factors are also taken into account, so that the forecasts can be as exact as possible. The predictions and reports are also constantly updated and compared to other general framework projections in a variety of economic, technological, finance, consumer analytics and marketing areas.