Smartphones, not laptops, are the most desired device among 18-30 year olds in the Middle East as they are seen as the most versatile and compact, according to a recent survey by Cisco.
In a regional study based on the methodology of the 2012 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, when asked to choose only one device, more than half of the respondents in the Middle East said they preferred a smartphone, while slightly more than a third favoured laptops, according to a statement from Cisco Middle East.
Some Jordanian smartphone users said they prefer using their handheld devices to access e-mails and chat, while other said using a laptop was more convenient for work.
“I use my iPhone for checking e-mails throughout the day and for chatting with friends… I am connected to the Internet all the time as long as I have my smartphone,” Ahmad Salim, student at Al Khawarezmi Community College, said in an interview this week.
“I also have a laptop, but I use it only when I need to do homework or research… I use the smartphone more than I use the laptop because I chat, listen to songs and play games more often than I do homework,” Salim explained.
Mais Fouad, a 24-year-old secretary, disagreed.
“I have a smartphone but I only use it to make calls and send SMSs. I’ve never downloaded an application on my mobile… I prefer using the laptop, whether it is for work or listening to music,” Fouad said over the phone.
“When I need to send reports and e-mails, I use my laptop even when I am at home…I think using the smartphone for work is not convenient.”
Bilal Alqeisi, the owner of a computer shop, said the rising number of smartphone holders was not affecting demand for laptops among young customers.
“The user can’t write a word document or send an Excel sheet using a smartphone… For professionals, regardless of their sector, laptops are more useful… Even if the number of people buying smartphones is on the rise, I do not think this will affect laptops,” Alqeisi told The Jordan Times.
“It is tablets, not smartphones, that have affected laptop sales…On average, tablets are cheaper than laptops in the country, they are more convenient to carry and easier to use than laptops. The future is certainly for tablets,” he added.
According to estimates by the Arab Advisers Group, smartphone penetration in Jordan currently ranges from 46-50 per cent. 
The Cisco Middle East report covered the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Lebanon, Kuwait and Qatar.