The Middle East and Africa (MEA) mobile handset market grew marginally during 2009 due to the effects of the economic crisis as shipments were up 2.4 per cent over the previous year.
"The MEA mobile handset market managed to rebound in the second half of 2009," said Barti Rajan, a research analyst with IDC's Mobile Handsets Programme for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. "Traditional mobile phones were the main growth driver for the overall MEA market in 2009 as shipments of converged mobile devices (smartphones) slowed."
According to the latest research from International Data Corporation (IDC), a global market intelligence and advisory firm for the information technology and telecommunications markets, some of the region's more mature markets, such as the UAE and Turkey, bucked this trend, with converged mobile devices primarily responsible for driving the growth experienced in these markets.
"End-user preferences in the more mature markets of the region have increasingly shifted from simple voice telephony towards a greater usage of data and applications, and both handset vendors and carriers have been eager to meet this demand, despite ongoing economic challenges," it said.
The converged mobile market will gain momentum, said IDC.
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