UAE ranks third as world’s most connected population

The GfK Connected Consumer Index places the UAE and KSA in the top ten list

Tags: ChileHong KongJordanLaptopsUnited Arab Emirates
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UAE ranks third as world’s most connected population  GfK's Kevin Walsh: "For high growth markets, especially across the Middle East, Africa and emerging APAC, the dominant trend remains smartphone adoption." (GfK)
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  May 12, 2016

For the last two years, Hong Kong and North America have taken lead as the world's highly connected populations, but this year the UAE is closing in.  

According to the GfK Connected Consumer Index, the UAE, which was in eighth place in 2015, has jumped into third place this year. Furthermore, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has retained its sixth position from last year.

Kevin Walsh, director of trends and forecasting at GfK, said: "We are seeing some macro trend increases in connectivity across all countries. For high growth markets, especially across the Middle East, Africa and emerging APAC, the dominant trend remains smartphone adoption. This is the primary device - and often the first device - for consumers to connect to data services. This trend is likely to remain dominant for the next two to three years as price reductions mean that over one billion consumers will be able to afford to connect with a personal device for the first time."

"For developed markets, primarily Western Europe and North America, the growth drivers have already moved to the next wave of consumer connectivity. Wearables are leading the way, together with connected cars - and both these are providing new consumer benefits. Smart home technology is an equally significant opportunity, but expected to be slower and steadier in terms of the consumer adoption curve."

The GfK Connected Consumer Index measures which countries have the world's most connected consumers across eleven different devices; smartphone, tablet, mobile PC, desktop PC, wearables, smart TV, TV set-top box, video game console, e-reader, connected car and smart home.

The Index also enables businesses to compare how connected the individual countries and regions are, in order to spot market opportunities across a range of industries. This includes areas stretching from digital device sales and content consumption to expansion of traditional technology into health and media and beyond.

GfK Connected Consumer Index: 2016 top ten most "connected" populations:

1 Hong Kong
2 North America
3 UAE
4 Norway
5 Germany
6 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
7 Great Britain
8 Switzerland
9 Denmark
10 Sweden

Other countries that the Index reveals as having made a significant leap forwards in the past year, in terms of the connectivity of their populations, are Chile and Jordan.

Chile has climbed seven places from 27th place in 2015 to 20th place this year, and now stands just behind Italy, Ireland and Australia. And Jordan has jumped from 31st place last year to 23rd place - overtaking countries including Cyprus, Oman, New Zealand and Belgium.

Walsh added: "As technology markets mature, we are increasingly seeing that local country drivers are having a relatively bigger impact on growth, as opposed to global or regional trends - with consumers connecting in ever bigger numbers and different ways."

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