Middle East Trends Affecting The Mobile Web: Report

Opera_iconA report by Opera team was released for month of July 2009 shows latest global as well as Middle East trends, country snapshots, and affects of Iranian elections on mobile web.

Middle East Trends:

  • The top 10 countries using Opera Mini in the Middle East are Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and Yemen.
  • Some numbers regarding the Middle East: From July 2008 to July 2009, overall page views in the top 10 countries listed increased 67.5%. From July 2008 to July 2009, overall unique users in the top 10 countries listed increased 16.5%. From July 2008 to July 2009, overall data transferred in the top 10 countries listed increased 36.6%.
  • Growth rates in the Middle East: Syria leads the top 10 countries with 376.6% growth in users this year, followed by Yemen (180.7% growth) and Jordan (167.4% growth).
  • Case study on Iran: In Iran, there were more Opera Mini downloads in July than there were unique users in June, but Iran only showed a 32% growth in unique users from June to July. Furthermore, between July 2008 and July 2009, the number of unique users in Iran actually decreased by 22.4%, whereas the only other decreases were seen in Saudi Arabia and Israel (under 10% each). Despite the decrease, Iran is still at the top of the list for the Middle East. Page-views per user in Iran went up from 119 to 188 between July 2008 and July 2009.
  • In the Middle East, among mobile Web users, Google is the dominant player in the search engine space, followed by Yahoo!. Facebook is the preferred social network in the Middle East, except in Saudi Arabia where Friendster remains the top social network. Nokia handsets continue to be dominant in the Middle East, with one LG and a handful of Sony Ericsson handsets being popular in a few of the countries.

Global Trends:

  • In July 2009, nearly 29.1 million people used Opera Mini, a 9.9% increase from June 2009 and more than 145% compared to July 2008. These numbers reflect only the Opera Mini users who have specifically chosen to install the browser on their phone.
  • Those 29.1 million people viewed more than 12 billion pages in July 2009. Since June, page views have gone up 15.4%. Since July 2008, page views have increased 223%.
  • Opera Mini users last month generated nearly 187 million MB of data for operators worldwide. Since June, the data consumed went up by 11.0%. Data in Opera Mini is compressed up to 90%. If this data were uncompressed, Opera Mini users would have viewed over 1.7 PB of data in July. Since July 2008, data traffic is up 223%.
  • The top 10 countries for Opera Mini usage are (in order): Russia, Indonesia, India, China, Ukraine, South Africa, United States, Nigeria, Germany and Poland.

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Tarek is the founder and chief researcher at Youngberry, a youth research and marketing firm dedicated to the region. Tarek founded interactiveME.com and previously worked as Manager at Flip Media (Interactive Agency), Bayt.com (Job Site) and Consulting House Qatar (Consulting firm). He is researcher and writer on internet & disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, and youth culture.