One Year on – The Top Grossing UAE iPhone Apps

Almost one year ago I published the top UAE iPhone Apps 2012, so I thought I would revisit this post and see how things have changed. Has any App remained in the Top 10 spots?

Apps are arguably a superfluous addition to our lives, with the occasional app truly adding value to our day to day routine (news feeds / social apps / baby feeding reminder apps!!) and most are downloaded and never touched again.

souq.comFREE APPS: What is truly great to see in 2013 is a local App taking the Top Spot of the free apps, followed very closely by two other locals;  Air Arabia and VOX apps.

PAID APPS: Pimp your Screen (“Pimp Your Screen is an award-winning app that helps you customize the look of your device by giving you an exclusive selection of specially designed backgrounds, icon skins, app shelves, neon combos and many other eye candies“) – takes the top spot on paid, with almost all other Apps in the paid sector being games.

GROSSING APPS: Slotomania and Texas Poker remains the only apps throughout that is consistently in the rankings, but slipping down the field.

voxDEVICES: iphone / iPad 

What is truly interesting is the divergence of apps between devices. Granted the apps available a determinant of developers interest (and possible financial gain), but could we also draw some parallels to the divergent type of device purchaser? Are iPad users more interested in games and less interested in social/sharing? Are we doing more connecting  / researching on our smartphones? Are tablets always going to be the 3rd device and unlikely to ever overtake smartphone or laptop?


Another interesting angle to look at is the types of Apps used by geography. The most obvious fact that no country has the same apps in any sector that are the same. This may seem sensible for local language or location based activity, but even games / social / commerce apps vary quite significantly across countries. The top apps in the USA on iPhone are almost all games (Free, Paid, Grossing), while in Italy there is a considerable amount of communication / sharing or functional apps, with few games. While over in China, there is a localised app economy emerging that differs drastically from the rest of the world (like everything else in the China Digital Walled Garden!) and many of the big brands (Sina Weibo, Baidu etc.) are leading the charge. The sheer size, volume of customer base and demand for mobile connected internet in China makes it a very enticing playground, if you know how to really localise.

Download & Discard!

What is evident by the changing APPS in the top 10 is their download then discard nature, as pertinent in the UAE as the rest of the world. What the analytics don’t tell us (yet!), is the actual engagement levels and thus overall value (however in-app purchasing helps to some extent).

Make it local or fail!

The localisation of Apps (language, location services, local information etc.) are vital for long term success and more so due to the local requirements of the mobile device user accessing and utilising content (and also consider the limited available technology to translate application content dynamically, unlike on web browsers). Simply taking an app that worked in New York exceptionally well, will not necessarily cut it in Dubai. Obviously there are outliers to this thought that have solely delivered in English and been a success, but predominantly these are short lived and throw-away or the app functionality does not require local content. Truly long-term and sustainable apps will continuously develop their product to serve the users local needs, no matter where in the world they are.

App developers are in working an exceptionally fast moving, fragmented and competitive sector, but looking at the constant consumer demand for new “gizmo’s” in your pocket and the viral nature if you are luckily get it right, it can certainly be a financially lucrative sector if you get can it right, just ask WhatsApp (WhatsApp valuation $1Bn).

The Tables

Top  iPhone Apps 2013 – United Arab Emirates 

=Souq Deals & FZ LLC =Pimp Your ScreenApalon =Clash of ClansSupercell
▲1Coco VoiceInstanza Inc. =Smart Alarm Clock: sleep cycles & noise recordingPlus Sports =Candy Crush Limited
▼1Air ArabiaAir Arabia ▲18 Ball Pool™ =Top ElevenNordeus
=VOX Cinemas for iPhoneVOX Cinemas ▼1Temple Run: OzDisney =Texas PokerKAMAGAMES LTD
▲1Google EarthGoogle, Inc. ▲4Prince of Persia® The Shadow and the FlameUbisoft =Hay DaySupercell
▲1MBC NOWMBC Group ▲1App IconsMatsvei Tsimashenka =Modern WarFunzio, Inc
▼2Ninja Kid Run by Fun Games For FreeFun Games For Free ▲4Minecraft – Pocket EditionMojang =ممالك الأبطالVekee Games Inc.
▲5Talking SMSOren Avraham =FIFA 13 by EA SPORTSElectronic Arts ▲1Slotomania – Slot MachinesPlaytika LTD
=Despicable Me: Minion RushGameloft ▲1Riptide GP2Vector Unit ▲2Subway SurfersKiloo
▲1Candy Crush Limited ▲2PicfxActiveDevelopment ▲8Online Soccer ManagerGamebasics BV

Top iPad Apps 2013 – United Arab Emirates

▲2Celebrity DentistBear Hug Media =Minecraft – Pocket EditionMojang =Clash of ClansSupercell
▼1Ninja Kid Run by Fun Games For FreeFun Games For Free ▲1FIFA 13 by EA SPORTSElectronic Arts ▲1Candy Crush Limited
▼1Skydiving – Mr. Bean EditionNormand Hackett ▲1Riptide GP2Vector Unit ▲1Hay DaySupercell
▲2Super Dad – Baby Care GameRita Haupert ▲1Toca Tea PartyToca Boca AB ▼2Subway SurfersKiloo
=Design & Dress up BoutiqueUmair Javed ▲2Gangstar: Miami Vindication HDGameloft ▲4Modern WarFunzio, Inc
▼2Banana KongFDG Entertainment ▼4Plants vs. Zombies HDPopCap ▼1Slotomania HD – Slot MachinesPlaytika LTD
▲7Best Friends Forever – Dress Up, Makeup, Card Maker & Photo FunKids Fun Club by TabTale ▼1Prince of Persia® The Shadow and the FlameUbisoft ▲1Smurfs’ VillageBeeline Interactive, Inc.
▼1Despicable Me: Minion RushGameloft ▲1Eden – World BuilderKingly Software Inc ▼2Real Racing 3Electronic Arts
=Dr. DrivingSUD Inc. ▼1Monsters UniversityDisney ▲7GameTwist SlotsFunstage Spielewebseiten Betriebsges.m.b.H.
▼2Nail Makeover – girls gamesGeorge CL ▲10Pimp Your ScreenApalon ▼3Battle Beach

Top iPhone Apps 2013 – United States

Despicable Me: Minion Rush
=djay 2 for iPhonealgoriddim =Candy Crush Limited
=Bus DerbyDimension Technics =Smart Alarm Clock: sleep cycles & noise recordingPlus Sports =Clash of ClansSupercell
=Candy Crush Limited =Where’s My Mickey?Disney =Pandora RadioPandora Media, Inc.
▲1Colormania – Guess the ColorsGenera Mobile =Heads Up!Warner Bros. ▲7Big Fish Casino – Free Slots, Blackjack, Roulette, Poker and More!Big Fish Games, Inc
▼1Celebrity DentistBear Hug Media =Minecraft – Pocket EditionMojang ▼1Hay DaySupercell
=VineVine Labs, Inc. =AfterLightSimon Filip ▲2MARVEL War of HeroesMobage, Inc.
=SnapchatSnapchat, Inc. ▲1Contra: EvolutionPunchBox Studios ▼1Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the NorthKabam
▲13RdioRdio ▲2Free Music Download Pro – Mp3 DownloaderASPS Apps ▼3Modern WarFunzio, Inc
▼1Rivals at War: 2084Hothead Games Inc. ▲5Kick the Buddy: No MercyCrustalli ▼2DoubleDown Casino – FREE Slots, Blackjack & Video PokerDouble Down Interactive
▼ ▼3Grand Theft Auto: Vice CityRockstar Games ▼1The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-iearthKabam

Top iPhone Apps 2013 – Italy

(new)Radio Live! deluxeEric MILLET =Smart Alarm Clock: sleep cycles & noise recordingPlus Sports =Candy Crush Limited
▲1WeChatWeChat ▲1PouPaul Salameh =Clash of ClansSupercell
▼2TuttoCittà MAPSEAT Pagine Gialle S.p.A ▼1djay 2 for iPhonealgoriddim =Top ElevenNordeus
▼2Battery Saver – Improve the Battery LifeKS Mobile, Inc. =InstaWeather Probyss mobile ▲1Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the NorthKabam
=Banana KongFDG Entertainment =Pimp Your ScreenApalon ▼1Hay DaySupercell
(new)PhotoVivaLamina Design =FoxTube – YouTube Playermix1009 =Pet Rescue Limited
=Red Bull Urban FutbolRed Bull ▲1Running for Weight Loss PRO: training plan, GPS, how-to-lose-weight tips by Red Rock AppsGRINASYS CORP. ▲8MegapolisSocial Quantum
▼2InstaWeatherbyss mobile ▼1FIFA 13 by EA SPORTSElectronic Arts ▲2Online Soccer ManagerGamebasics BV
▲1Significato dei Nomi – NomixNomix s.a.s. =Akinator the GenieElokence ▼1The Simpsons™: Tapped OutElectronic Arts
▼2Monsters University: Catch ArchieDisney =iTheme – Themes for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touchnovitap GmbH ▼1Skype for iPhoneSkype Communications S.a.r.l

Top iPhone Apps 2013 – China

=Despicable Me: Minion RushGameloft =AA Ringtone Maker ProLI SI MIN =我叫MT OnlineLOCOJOY.,LTD
=Sango FightLogic Ball =画个火柴人, Inc. =Clash of ClansSupercell
=WiFi免费通747 =暖暖环游世界:搭配研习生RUNHAO YAO =扩散性百万亚瑟王Meiyu Information and Technology Co.,ltd
=看图猜成语Bin Wang =Phone Numbers Reverse Search LocationQIU CHAO =大掌门Air&Mud Studio
=Banana KongFDG Entertainment =植物大战僵尸PopCap =陌陌Beijing Momo Technology Co., Ltd.
▲2百度视频(影音版)Beijing Baidu Netcom Science & Technology Co.,Ltd =Color Message Text ProsLi Pu ▲2神仙道PinIdea Co., Ltd.
▲3Who Calls Me?Tinnientec Inc. =Temple Run: OzDisney ▲4王者之剑LineKong Entertainment Technology Co.,Ltd
▲1Tiny PopCom2uS USA, Inc. =Contra: EvolutionPunchBox Studios ▼1萌江湖:Q版武侠Shanghai Youzu Information Technology Corporation Limited
▲2美图秀秀Xiamen Meitu Technology Co., Ltd. =Asphalt 7: HeatGameloft ▼3我叫MT Online (國際版)LOCOJOY.,LTD
▲3WeChatWeChat =Riptide GP2Vector Unit ▼1龙之力量com.digitalcloud

Source: App Annie. Data accessed July 31 2013. Paid – refers to both App and in-App purchases. App Annie reports on rankings dynamically, meaning that App rankings can change frequently. 


Vine. What’s the Big Deal?


Guest post by @waynedenner

The Deal is big. Before you do anything, head on over to the App store and download Vine. You, your business or brand may thank me later.

Now on a serious note, as businesses and marketers seek out new and engaging ways to connect with their audiences, we have seen over the past few months, video starting to take centre stage. (And rightly so). A whole host of new Video Apps have hit the social media space. These videos can present many new golden opportunities. Exciting platforms such as Vine present new ways to create engaging brand content.

Now for those of you who are wondering what on earth Vine is, or indeed have yet to hear the hype about this effective little video platform, you should have already been curious enough from my opening statement to have it downloaded already. In a nutshell.. it’s Twitter’s New App. This exciting new App from Twitter will present those who welcome it with open arms a unique opportunity to create content, which can connect with their customers. Vine allows users to create and most importantly 6-second video clips. Now I hear you say only 6 seconds? Yes only 6! Think of it as the Dynamic Little Brother of 140 Character Twitter if you will.

As we are all now beginning to understand with Twitter those users who can create effective brand messaging in 140 Characters which engage users tend to win big. With Vine it’s no different, its almost like the animated Giff from the early Internet days has made it’s return. You create your video in 6 seconds, which will endlessly loop. Now this is good news because as research has shown on platforms such as Facebook, images and videos from businesses or brands tend to get a lot more traction. With Vine there is an opportunity for Brands to create niche content which it can roll out to it’s customers. On the other hand there is also a big opportunity if Vine continues to grow we will start to see the platform being used more for User Generated Content from the costumers end. It presents those users who embrace it a new way to record and share experiences.

Here are 5 ideas I had on how Businesses can use Vine. First thing I will say and I stress.. Be Playful.

  1. ShowCase your Business or Products in 6 Seconds
  2. A simple How -To video
  3. Create teasers for upcoming product launches or events
  4. Encourage your Customers to create short Vine Videos on experiences they have had with your Brand or Products (UGC)
  5. Share behind the scenes news and insights – think of a Chef knocking together a signature dish.

These are of course, only a few ideas – Vine presents a host of opportunities for businesses to create rich media, which will be far more effective and increase audience engagement. What is important with the development of Apps such as Vine & Viddy is that increasingly customers are becoming more overwhelmed by the sheer volume of marketing messages around channels such as Facebook & Twitter – Business & Brands need to find new & more engaging way to reach their customers. Those Businesses & Brands who embrace & incorporate video as part of their marketing strategy in 2013 are going to have a better chance of reaching and connecting with their customers.

Major Brands like GAP, America Airlines and Dove are already using Vine within their digital marketing efforts – here are some of them..

America Airlines – Click Here

GAP – Click Here


About Wayne Denner



Wayne Denner is a leading digital marketing professional and lecturer.

With over 14 years experience in traditional & digital marketing, Wayne has planned and developed successful campaigns for clients across the UK and Ireland, including Diageo, Carphone Warehouse, Specsavers,, Orange, Armagh City & District Council, Invest NI, Newry & Mourne District Council and O2.

He has been at the forefront of the rapidly-changing digital marketing industry for over a decade and is an expert on emerging trends including social engagement, online reputation management, branding media, web 2.0 & e-commerce platforms.

Wayne also lectures on the Chartered Institute of Marketing program on Digital Marketing Essentials & Integrating Digital Media & Branding and is currently writing a book on the subject.

Follow him on Twitter @waynedenner

“Why Google+ is awesome”!

Wayne Denner is great at providing quality insights and open discussion opportunities on digital strategy, if you have the opportunity, I highly recommend grabbing a coffee to inspire some blue ocean thinking! His recent post below about G+ provides some honest feedback on G+ from both a consumer and business perspective.

From a purist business perspective, G+ is an essential component of a digital strategy, primarily due to the inextricable connection between search (paid and natural) and building on the P/O/E media attribution model / strategy it is vital to ensure that your brand is present and active. Just think of all the Google products, and how they are now being consumed & intertwined through the use of G+  also, think of how your business is presented on them (if at all). If you don’t get this today, you need some help!

Google+ is more than just a Facebook competitor, what G+ represents for the future of (Google) Search and the user online interactions are essentially the first real steps towards the semantic web (aka a component of Web 3.0) and long-term, will ultimately change how we all use the web.

(Mashable blog posts on this subject can be seen hereoh and here among so many other places!)  (See Guardian article about G+ influence on charities).

Why I think Google+ is Awesome & some changes it needs to make…

Guest Post by @waynedenner

Digital Arabia - Google-PlusEvery so often I like to push out a Tweet saying how wonderful I think Google+ is and how I feel it’s going to be a game changer in relation to how we interact with social media.  Usually and more times than I can remember I get replies from people with statements like “It Sucks” or “Dunno how you have the patience with Google+” being examples of recent messages I have received in relation to the platform.  But here’s the thing.  Just because it does not have 1 Billion people using it yet, does not mean it sucks.

So just a few of the reasons I like it, in no particular order:

  • Loving Circles: Although with other platforms mainly Facebook you can group contacts, friends, followers etc, the whole aspect of Circles really excites me.  Within Google+ for me at least it seems a simple and straight forward way of managing interaction with different groups of people and engaging with them with messages or posts which are of most use and relevance to their interests. In a nutshell, when I decide to share content or a post on Google+, I get to decide who sees it.  This gives me further flexibility to organise my circles and add users based on connections within these.    This can also become very useful if you’re a business needing to segment your audience.
  • Hangouts:  Over the past number of months I have really started to use the Hangout feature.  I must admit when I first joined Google+ being an early adopter there was not much point in creating or using hangouts but as the platform has started to grow and more users like me are realising the benefits of + there are increasingly more opportunities to create Hangouts.   For anyone reading this who has no idea what I am talking out, it’s as the name suggests, a chat room of sorts and gives you the power to Video chat with other users by hosting virtual meetings with up to 10 people.  I like to use it most for team collaboration.  For example, if I’m working on a marketing project which has designers, developers and marketing professionals in different parts of the world we can all join the hangout and engage via video and voice.  As part of this interaction Hangouts offers a suite of productivity apps, which can allow sharing of onscreen information in Google Docs and the facility to view presentations and diagram together.
  • Integration with other Services:  Many of us currently use other services and products from Google, eg Gmail or You Tube. With it’s plans to continue to grow and acquire other products and services, integration becomes key in its strategy to position itself as a major social platform player.  With everything being integrated there is increased time spent on the platform, better engagement and less likelihood of the user seeking to want to find alternatives.

There are of course many other benefits when it comes to using the platform for business & personal purposes. There is no doubt that Google aims to become a major player within Social Networking.  It’s biggest problem is trying to move users across from the other big platforms, mainly Facebook & Twitter and users are reluctant to do that.  Other challenges include page administration which can be difficult and many Social Dashboards still don’t integrate with Google+.  Up until the launch of its mobile app, this has always been the big let down for me and an area which is proving to be key for brands seeking ways to push out content to social channels to drive engagement.  But for me the big one to date has to be the Mobile Application for IOS. As a massive mobile app user I was impressed with its clean user friendly UI.  However, If you are like me and you have a personal profile as well as pages for brands which you manage, the big letdown comes from not being able to flick between accounts without having to sign out and back in again and then choose the account which you wish to use this for me and other users particularly marketing professionals using it is a big failure and something which needs addressed sooner rather than later.

To sum up,  Google+ is a great platform but there are areas in which it needs to focus on refining its user experience and work on building connections with its current user base as well as taking steps to ensure the experience is second to none.  Although growth may be small there is still great opportunity to improve winning across user ambassadors who can champion awareness via other more well-known platforms.  Moving forward Google will need to focus a lot more on its mobile platform as this is where the Big Winners will be.

About Wayne Denner


Wayne Denner is a leading digital marketing professional and lecturer.

With over 14 years experience in traditional & digital marketing, Wayne has planned and developed successful campaigns for clients across the UK and Ireland, including Diageo, Carphone Warehouse, Specsavers,, Orange, Armagh City & District Council, Invest NI, Newry & Mourne District Council and O2.

He has been at the forefront of the rapidly-changing digital marketing industry for over a decade and is an expert on emerging trends including social engagement, online reputation management, branding media, web 2.0 & e-commerce platforms.

Wayne also lectures on the Chartered Institute of Marketing program on Digital Marketing Essentials & Integrating Digital Media & Branding and is currently writing a book on the subject.

Follow him on Twitter @waynedenner


Focus on: Smartphone India

With a market place of 1.24 billion, GDP per capita growth rate of 5.4% (2011, $1500), 91 million internet users, a burgeoning middle and upper class, India is a land of diversity and opportunity for the digital smartphone prospector.

Research was conducted in 2011, sponsored by Google and conducted by  Ipsos MediaCT and TNS Intratest on countries and Smartphone adoption and usage by country.

“The survey data was collected in all countries via an online questionnaire. Weighting procedures were applied to the collected sample data along key variables of the smartphone population in each country. The variables necessary for weighting were collected using telephone interviews in all countries surveyed”.

For the India research below, 1000 respondents were received and processed.

This research should be considered in-line with the error margins accordingly and further modelled utilising regression analysis. Note also, this data reflects 2011 only.

Related Post: World Economic Forum Research

Smartphone Adoption:

  • Smartphone Penetration in India  – 23% of the population are Smartphone users
  • Symbian was the primary operating system with 37% of the market
  • This was the first smartphone purchase for 80% of the respondents 
  • 97% used the smartphone at home, with 87% using on the go
  • 74% don’t leave home without it and 56% say that it is more entertaining than TV

What Indians do on their smartphones:

  • 56% access online services multiple times daily and 56% also use every day
  • Over 76% use smartphones to browse the internet (see expanded image below)
  • 74% using it for email
  • 73% used it for listening to music
  • 40% use it for financial related purposes


  • Average number of apps per user is 15
  • 79% state that they intend to increase the number of apps used


  • 81% of users, use email daily
  • 78% use Search Engines daily
  • 76% use social networks daily
  • 62% share information through social sites
  • 52% watch video on mobile daily


  • 60% noticed advertising through search engines
  • 35% while on a video site
  • Only 11% while on a website

Local Information Services:

  • 52% look for local information services on a daily basis
  • 50% will visit the local services website once found


  • Only 50% have bought on mobile
  • With 80% of the barriers to entry associated to; TRUST & PC PREFERENCE
  • 69% will use credit cards to buy on smartphones
  • 63% intend to purchase more on smartphone in the future
  • Only 52% of those that researched on phones, bought on phone.  Majority did nothing ROPO
  • 56% state that they are intentionally taking the smartphone to research products

For the full graphs, click below to launch the previewer:


Digital Arabia - India - Smartphone Usage

Digital Arabia – India – Smartphone Usage

Sub-Saharan Africa – Are they leap-frogging PC?

The research that we conducted for the World Economic Forum earlier this year focussed in on BRIC countries, however this research from Google, suggests that economies at the  capital accumulation stages of development (Solow Growth Model) are NOT YET leap-frogging mobile on frequency of access, with 15% accessing daily via PC, to only 12% via mobile. Additionally, more internet access occurs via PC on a weekly basis.

It would be an interesting longitudinal study to see how this develops or how related to specific industries.

Frequency of internet access via PC:

Digital Arabia - subsahara africa frequency - computer

Digital Arabia – subsahara africa frequency – computer (click to open)

Frequency of internet access via mobile:

Digital Arabia - subsahara africa frequency - mobile

Digital Arabia – subsahara africa frequency – mobile (click to open)

Data via Google for period 2010/2011.

Mobile Banking in the Middle East. KSA, UAE and Egypt. Who is the most confident?

According to the Google, IPSOS, IAB and MMA data, the most confident mobile bankers are:

Middle East smartphone owners use financial services:

  • 43% of all KSA
  • 40% of all UAE
  • 38% of all Egypt
  • (Reference: 48% of all USA)

By age segment:

  •  51% of males the total KSA 34-49 age segment were the highest penetration.
  • In the 18-29 age range, UAE males are most confident and active users with 48% of the age bracket using financial services regularly.
  • No data exists for the over 50 range

By Gender:

  • Males are the most confident throughout all countries
  • Saudi women are the most confident of all markets
  • Females aged 18 – 29 in KSA are the most confident by age range


Digital Arabia - Middle East Mobile Banking

Digital Arabia – Middle East Mobile Banking

Digital Arabia - Middle East Mobile Banking

Digital Arabia – Middle East Mobile Banking

Digital Arabia - Middle East Mobile Banking

Digital Arabia – Middle East Mobile Banking

Digital Arabia - Middle East Mobile Banking

Digital Arabia – Middle East Mobile Banking

Apps. What countries use them? Do they Pay?

An interesting find on Google, That of all Smartphone owners globally, the highest average penetration of apps per mobile device are: 

  • Japan with 41 Apps
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with 36 Apps
  • Switzerland with 35 App

But who uses apps regularly?

  • Denmark & Switzerland use an average of 13 apps a month
  • France & the USA use 12
  • Most other use 8-10
  • Finland & Brasil use the least… 6 Apps

Who pays for them?

  • Austria, Germany & Switzerland pay more than any other countries
  • Brazil & Egypt pay for the least number of Apps.
Digital Arabia - Apps Data

Digital Arabia – Apps Data – Google 2012

The Most Popular iPhone Apps in the U.A.E





The 10 most popular Paid, Free and Top Grossing iPhone Apps in the UAE are: 




1 WhatsApp Messenger Cubie Messenger Slotomania
2 Living Earth HD – World Clock and Weather Chasing Yello CSR Racing
3 TubeBox – Perfect Player for YouTube ArcherWorldCup Tagged Mobile App
4 The Dark Knight Rises ™ Mix Your Face fring
5 رادار الإمارات – Radar UAE iUAEJobs Poker by Zynga
6 Fruit Ninja Agent Dash Card Ace: Casino – Free Slots, Poker, Blackjack and More!
7 Tom & Jerry Videos Collection FlightTrack Free Rage of Bahamut
8 Temple Run: Brave 3D Rollercoaster Rush Smurfs’ Village
9 Fieldrunners 2 ArcherWorldCup2 Texas Poker
10 ToonCamera KAYAK PRO Tap Paradise Cove


The Top Five Apps Per Category are:

 As of August 13th 2012, by download volume. Source: App Data Tables App Annie


A Smarter Phone Future

DigitalArabia - mobile-hero

DigitalArabia – mobile to infinity & beyond?

It has been discussed, argued and never agreed on. When will it be The Year of the Mobile Device? When will smart phones surpass PC’s as the consumer choice?

“In the case of mobile, companies need to understand that it’s more than just a technology shift, it is also a significant change in how people connect with each other and consumer content.” —Chia Chen, senior vice president and North American mobile practice lead at Digitas, as quoted in Mobile Marketer, June 25, 2012

Well, while the pundits and experts argue, some data seems to suggest that 2011 was the year that the tipping point was achieved and many had their “eyes wide shut”.

In fact the International Data Corporation suggests that smartphones and tablets will be outselling PC’s by 2:1.

DigitalArabia – Shipments of Smartphones – eMarketer

The question remains, regardless of the pundits opinion, is your business ready to communicate or sell on a hand-held device?

When approaching a mobile development strategy you need to consider a few initial aspects:

  1. What is your business trying to achieve on mobile and is your customer ready and willing to engage?
  2. Is your current website  / or future websites being built with tablet devices (specifically) in mind?
  3. What systems do you have in place to centrally manage the channel? Do they need adapted? Are they open to multiple channels? (Example: try to utilise one Content Management System only throughout all your digital channels)
  4. Do you need mobile web / native application / both or versions of mobile web – app? (Mobile web is generally a best place to start, it should be available across all phone browser types and can be adapted to an App in most occasions)
  5. Native app offer significant differentiated (and better) user experiences than mobile web can currently manage e.g. offline availability, integration with native software (geo targeting). However these require an individual strategic financial analysis as they are significant investments and the returns should be justified as such.
  6. Do you require multiple languages? How will your route decision impact the technology requirement?

So those are the basic mobile development questions. You now need to consider the mobile marketing strategy. For reference, a mobile marketing strategy differs significantly from a standard browser based strategy, particularly due to search engines (Google) segmenting mobile as a separate channel (meaning strategic SEO & SEM investment). It is exceptionally important to analyse this as part of your investment / returns analysis.

There is no doubt however, that “year of mobile commerce” is here. In the Middle East particularly there is significantly higher penetration on mobile than in many parts of the world, meaning at a basic level, the opportunities are considerable.