“Blackberry ban in UAE: Good news for Iphone and a bad news for middle class mobile internet surfers”
Here are some statistics which should be considered before understanding the effect of Blackberry ban.
- UAE tops Arab world for mobile phone penetration rates, the rate for mobile phone users in the UAE stood at 193.5 percent, followed by Saudi Arabia with a rate of 165.5 percent. (Note: Saudia Arabia has also announced a freeze on blackberry services)
- “BlackBerry plans represent a substantial part of that (mobile data); while the operators don’t give exact numbers, Etisalat confirmed to me last week that 15% of its mobile subscribers were on mobile data plans, which include BlackBerry. It’s so widely used, that of that fifteen percent, BlackBerry comprises the largest single part – as much as 10% of the total mobile subscriber base in the UAE”. Informa Media & Telecoms senior analyst Matthew Reed told Arabian Business
Impact on UAE Consumer
- YPEs, business professionals and B2B users are directly affected with the current policy change, as they are the prime target audience for the handset.
- Sale of blackberry will drop which will cause an increase in the sales of Iphone. As UAE mobile web surfers have already favored apple Iphone, while Nokia is unable to tap a considerable market share in UAE and in MENA
- Telecom operators of other countries might benefit from this step. As telecom operators in other countries continuing to provide such services, users who believe that such services are indispensible to their business or lifestyle may be tempted to use the roaming facilities of such players. “Roaming charges in India are pretty cheap,” said an Indian expatriate in the UAE who currently uses the BlackBerry email service extensively for business purposes. “I am going to get the cheapest Indian SIM card and use it here”
- Iphone price is an entry barrier for Blackberry users and thus small scale users will opt for other solutions for wi-fi internet. It can possibly be the wi-fi internet offer of Etisalat.
- Mobile commerce and mobile access to social networking sites will be directly affected as these are one of the key activities of mobile internet users.
|From Consumer Insights with Ayesha Saeed|