Almost 70% of Americans own a smartphone nowadays, with the numbers constantly going up due to their “necessity” and even their affordability. A lot of people might think that North America is one of the highest populations to use a smartphone.
Nope, the Asia-Pacific region contains almost a billion people using smartphones, while just over 500 million people in the Middle East and Africa, which is significantly more than Europe and North America.
Qatar is the leading country with 75% of its population with a smartphone followed by the UAE at 73%. Their favorite types of devices include Android (40% of smartphones there), iOS (35%), Blackberry (15%) and Windows Phone (10%). Analysts predict that smartphone usage and purchases will go up 39% in 2015.
Interesting numbers. The reason Android phones and Windows Phones are selling well their are because of their affordability. This year, Google announced a program called Android One, which is essentially the launch of very affordable Android phones in India and a few other countries that cost only $100 off contract (compared to an iPhone that costs $700-900)
Google is very smart with this approach to bring the people of the Middle East into the Android ecosystem. Not everyone can afford the expensive Galaxy S5 or the HTC One, which can cost close to $1,000 their off contract depending on the country. Carrier companies their also do not use the same system as AT&T and Verizon, where they discount the price to $200 only if you sign a two-year contract with them.
But finally, to enjoy a smartphone, you must have internet access, which is where Google is leading the charge again. Google wants people to use Android. Why? Because using Android means you’re using Google’s online services (Google Search, Gmail, Google Drive, YouTube, Google Play) and they make advertising money off of that. SO, because many people their do not have internet access, they are rolling out operations that include Internet Blimps and Internet Drones that broadcast an internet connection to large regions. Yep, they are literally using blimps and unmanned jets to bring free internet to the world. Pretty cool.
Anyway, just though I’d share that.