Mobile net usage increases with smartphone upturn

Two recent indicators have emerged that illustrate how mobility is taking off in the Middle East. According to report from Informa Telecoms & Media, almost all the growth in the region's handset market will be driven by smartphone sales  with basic phone sales flatlining at least until basic phones are demanded in emerging markets from 2011. The research firm reckons the region's handset market will increase in value by 7.9% this year to US$8.2bn and will rise to double-digit growth until 2013.

In that year, Informa predicts the smartphone sector will be worth US$95 billion and total 47% of the market. Basic phones will be worth US$108 billion.

And all these smartphones won't be status devices in search of an application. A survey by Dubai-based research firm Real Opinions has uncovered that, in the last year the percentage of users who regularly connect to the web using their mobiles has increased from 33.5% to 40%.There's a slight dip in laptop and desktop access as a result with desktop log-in decreasing from 63.5% to 58.9% and laptop log-ins dropping about half a percent so it's not as if smartphones are taking over the web in the region - yet.