BlackBerry trumps iPhone in mobile web use

Mobile analytics firm reveals BlackBerry 8520 is leading the pack regionally based on mobile browsing stats

Tags: Apple IncorporatedBahrainBlackBerryEgyptIPhoneJordanNokia Middle East and AfricaResearch In MotionSaudi ArabiaUnited Arab Emirates
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BlackBerry trumps iPhone in mobile web use Most people in the Middle East are going online using the lower-end BlackBerry Curve 8520. Etisalat sells the model for AED 1,199 while Du has a AED 1,324 offer.
By  Vineetha Menon Published  January 27, 2010

While Apple continues to enthral, a California-based mobile analytics firm has claimed that BlackBerry smartphones are the top devices used for browsing the internet in the Middle East, beating the Apple iPhone as well as popular Nokia models.

Motally's latest research, which involves tracking the top devices used in each region, found that most people across the Middle East browse the internet using the BlackBerry 8520 (18%) handset. The iPhone came in second with 10%, but BlackBerry took the third and fourth rankings again with their 8900 (8%) and 9000 (6%) models. The Nokia E71 represented only 5%.

It's one of the few regions in the world where BlackBerry has an advantage over the iPhone, which was ranked as the top device in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania in the same report.  

The figures are based on website traffic data that's collected using Motally's patent-pending technology, with the firm clarifying that the monthly report looked at the handsets that generated the most pageviews. While their research is only indicative of top handsets that are used to browse mobile websites, it does throw some light on preferred smartphone brands and models in the Middle East.

RIM CEO Jim Balsillie recently said that strong demand from the Gulf region contributed to a record number of the firm's smartphones being shipped during that quarter, with the launch of the 8520 helping to fuel growth.

"Not surprisingly, Apple and RIM top the list and are responsible for over 60% of traffic in five of seven regions.  Interestingly, Blackberry has a regional advantage over Apple and is the top manufacturer in four of seven regions, and is in second place in two of seven regions," read a Motally blog post on the report. "We attribute this number one ranking over Apple primarily to a larger selection of Blackberry devices."

While the iPhone dominates in more developed markets, RIM's BlackBerry 8520 comes out on top in both the Middle East and South America and the BlackBerry 8900 trumps in Africa.

2797 days ago
Mohamed Salah

BlackBerry is the big thing now in Middle East and Egypt. It is becoming more popular each day, specially among the teens, they are totally amused by the blackberry messenger, although someone could have the latest Nokia smart phone they buy a blackberry just to be able to have a prestigious BB pin, and add his friends to the BBM.

The curve 8520 is definitely dominating the market, followed by the bold. Now, with the introduction of the new 3G curve, which is still a budget BB it is going to be soon the next popular phone in Egypt.

Mohamed Salah

3065 days ago

While I've enjoyed using a BB and generally like the device, I think the mobile browsing stats does what statistics traditoionally do. What it hides is far more interesting. I had to wait almost a month + to buy an iPhone ... perhaps a comparison in a few months time might be more realistic. A look at the respective data package tariff might be interesting too.

3079 days ago

I agree that the reason is likely to be lack of availability of the iPhone. I placed an order for one with my telecom supplier in November and still haven't been able to get one despite numerous promises of delivery. Unless Apple step in and react then they will continue to lag behind in the region.

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