Global mobile applications sales and downloads are forecast to reach US$15.65 billion by 2013* and Middle East operators and device manufacturers are preparing for a telecoms windfall. As the region's consumers discover the concept and access the increasing amount of apps and content, many of the established stores are focussing their attention on the MENA region.
Untapped potential, the expansion of 3G networks and increasing use of smartphones are leading to a dramatic rise in the demand for mobile applications and value added services in the Middle East. According to a recent industry report from Interactive Data Corp, the worldwide smartphone market grew by more than 56 percent in the first quarter of 2010. Over a longer period, the Middle East and Africa is set to be among the top global smartphone markets, with a sustained compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39 per cent for the next four years.
To reflect the importance and help develop these markets, this year's 30th anniversary of GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK is introducing GITEX Mobile Apps & Content World, a dedicated platform for the mobile applications and entertainment market. For handset manufacturers, mobile network operators and developers, GITEX Mobile Apps & Content World will bridge the telecommunications and consumer electronics market, providing opportunities to gain marketing exposure to the B2B and B2C audience across the Middle East region.
Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO, Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of GITEX said: "The Middle East is well known for its demand for the latest mobile hardware and software, and apps and content are at the cutting edge of this highly lucrative sector. In order to take advantage of a market it is necessary to fully understand its progress and demand, and GITEX Mobile Apps & Content World will serve as a dynamic platform where international vendors and consumers can do exactly that."
GITEX Mobile Apps & Content World will also present a series of open panel debates with industry experts exploring apps and content from an international and regional perspective, as well as exploring the huge potential of mobile marketing in the Middle East.
Steve Lewis, Marketing Director for Nokia in Middle East and Africa, said: "Consumers are fast moving to smartphones and downloading applications according to their individual needs and preferences. Emerging markets like the Middle East are leading this wave due to the rapid adoption of smartphones and increased consumer confidence. This is an enormous opportunity for those organisations seeking to take advantage of such exponential growth. Nokia is all about connecting people to what matters most. At GITEX Mobile Apps and Content World, we will be discussing the future of the mobile apps market and how the market is likely to evolve while showcasing our new offerings within the smartphone and solutions segment."
GITEX Mobile Apps & Content World will highlight the companies shaping the region's mobile apps and content market, the latest smartphone devices and collaborative mobile technologies. Participants include Nokia, Asus-Garmin, Blackberry (RIM) and Binatone, alongside apps developers Haiku, Globo Mobile, Evento, Winjit, CoolPad, ValueLabs and Dubai-based Sevdotcom.
GITEX Mobile Apps & Content World has entered into an Industry Partnership with the global trade body for mobile media companies, Mobile Entertainment Forum. According to Sarah Roberts, MEF General Manager, EMEA, "Our Industry Partnership is a reflection of MEF's support for this sector and mobile media innovation in general across the Middle East. GITEX Mobile Apps & Content World provides an ideal platform to bring together international and regional mobile experts to stimulate growth and creativity in the mobile application and content ecosystem."
GITEX Mobile Apps & Content World will take place during the whole of GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK from 17-21 October 2010 with the general public being given access to Consumer Electronics and GITEX Mobile Apps & Content World from the 19 – 21 October.