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Connected Consumer Survey 2016: mobile services and devices in the Middle East and North Africa

Connected Consumer Survey 2016: mobile services and devices in the Middle East and North Africa

Market Study
Published: January 2017
Pages: 29 slides
Research from: Analysys Mason
Sector: Mobile

From: GBP 3845.00
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This report focuses on aspects of Analysys Mason’s Connected Consumer Survey that relate to the behaviour, preferences and plans of smartphone users in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In particular, it focuses on respondents’ usage of mobile services and devices. The survey was conducted in association with On Device Research.


This report answers the following questions:

  • How strongly do operators perform as smartphone sales channels, and how does their performance relate to consumers’ choice of tariffs?
  • What is the average consumer spend on handsets and how can operators capture a larger share of this spend?
  • What are the mobile data usage patterns among respondents and how does data pricing affect these patterns?
  • What impact does 4G have on mobile users’ spend and engagement with their smartphones?
  • What are the data utilisation levels for contract subscribers and what effects do differing approaches to overage have?


Survey data coverage

The research was conducted in August and September 2016. The survey groups were chosen to be representative of the mobile-Internet-using population in the region. We set quotas on age, gender and geographical spread to that effect. There were 4500 respondents in the region.



Geographical coverage

  • Morocco
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • UAE


Who should read this report


§ Operator-based strategy executives and marketing managers who are interested in understanding consumer market trends, the role of operators as smartphone distribution channels, and the impact of differing approaches to pricing in the market.

§ Market intelligence and research executives in service providers that are responsible for understanding end-user trends and supporting business units in identifying and addressing new opportunities.

§ Equipment/device manufacturers and software providers that want to identify end-user trends in service and device usage and help their operator customers to improve their ability to address market



Consumers that buy their handsets from mobile operators replace their handsets slightly more frequently and report higher mobile service NPS


There are some notable differences between consumers that prefer retailers and operators for handset purchases. Although operators do not need to respond urgently, these trends should nonetheless inform their device portfolios and bundling tactics.

Firstly, regardless of any self-selection bias,1those that buy their handsets from operators have reported higher Net Promoter Score (NPS)2than those that use retailers. Devices are therefore likely to play a role in the relationship between operators and customers.

Secondly, handset replacements cycles appear to be slightly more dynamic at operator channels. Not only are the handsets-in-use newer, but their intended replacement cycle is slightly quicker. This is good news for operators that want to use device upgrade programmes to build long-term relationships with their customers.

Finally, operators rely more on Apple (iOS) phones than retailers, which often carry a diverse range of Android phones. This is generally in line with operators’ willingness to focus their device bundling efforts on premium customer segments. Operators must balance this approach by ensuring that they do not depend too much on a single brand and by attending to the possibility of an overall slowdown in replacement cycles. As smartphone sales stagnate and customer excitement for each forthcoming model wanes, operators may find it necessary to expand their device portfolios and data bundles to reach lower-spend segments.

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