Panel discussion on the opening day of Smart Handheld Summit 2011

Dubai, December 5 2011 – Arab Advisors Group Smart Handheld Summit 2011 Convenes today at Crowne Plaza Hotel Dubai, with the backing of 21 regional and global companies and the participation of around 300 delegates from 12 countries representing 120 leading regional and global companies and organizations.

Addressed by 38 visionary executives and industry leaders, the Smart Handheld Summit will bring into discussion topics that play active roles in shaping up the industry such as; the Smart phone ecosystem in the Arab World, the roles of Arab telecom operators in driving the industry forward, the roles of international vendors and technology companies in the regional ecosystem and the roles of Media companies and content owners. The summit will also focus on the opportunities for application developers and the evolving business models and revenue streams.

The summit will also feature a debate. The debate will be about the role of infrastructure owning telecom operators in the eco-system: Should they focus on the network, efficiency and being profitable utilities or should they expand into adjacent verticals of content and be active in the Smartphone and application spaces? After hearing the arguments from the debaters, the audience will decide who won by electronic voting.

In the midst of the preparations for “The Smart Handheld Summit 2011”, Arab Advisors Group surveys revealed that Saudi Arabia has the highest percentage of Smartphones with 55% followed by UAE and Jordan with 44% and 42% respectively.
The surveys also probed the tablets availability among the cellular users. The surveys revealed that amongst houses that have tablets, Apple’s iPad leads by a wide margin.

“Based on the Arab Advisors Group surveys’ findings, we project the Smartphone applications combined annual revenues in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Jordan to grow from US$ 44 million in 2011 to US$ 210 million in 2015; with Saudi Arabia’s market generating around three quarters of the combined total.” Jawad J. Abbassi, Founder and General Manager of Arab Advisors Group noted. “Unlike what would be expected in Arabic-speaking countries, the majority of Smartphone application users in Jordan and the UAE prefer the English language for their applications. Yet, Arab Advisors survey research revealed that 47% of the respondents who use applications in Saudi Arabia prefer to use them in the Arabic language compared to only 8.2% in each of Jordan and the UAE. We believe that Saudi Arabia, followed by Egypt, represent the largest markets in the region that demand Arabic language focus.” Mr. Abbassi added.

Saudi Telecom Company is the Strategic Summit Partner of the Arab Advisors’ Smart Handheld Summit 2011 set to take place in Dubai on the 5th and 6th of December 2011.

STC clarified that its sponsorship to this conference comes as an affirmation of its eminent role in the region and its leadership in the field of communications and internet, and as strategic objective through which the company seeks to effectively exist in regional and international technological events, where the latest smart innovations, products, devices, solutions, applications and programs are demonstrated, especially that the company is undertaking the mission of exclusively providing Saudi market with the latest smart devices, tablets and laptops.
Through this participation, the company added, it is seeking to meet and communicate with largest gathering of the elite from specialists, experts, technicians and representatives of international manufacturers and providers of wireless services, applications and solutions, and mobile information and smart devices, which will definitely leave its impact on STC customers, in the provision of the latest smart technologies such as personal digital assistants, smart devices, wireless networks’ equipments and applications and solutions for remote transfer and exchange of information.

The Smart Handheld Summit 2011 also received the support and sponsorship of global cellular technology leader Qualcomm. “Smart handheld devices represent the future of mobile computing, both among consumers and the business community,” said Jihad Srage, President, Qualcomm Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. “Qualcomm is delighted to be involved in Arab Advisors Group’s Smart Handheld Summit, as events like this provide the region with a much needed platform to share insight on this exciting and rapidly growing market sector.”

Summit partners include AppsArabia, Microsoft, Ubanquity Systems Ltd, Teletimes International, Comm., ITP CommsMEA, MediaME, TelecomWatch, FTTH Council, UBA, Market Buzz, Mediastow, DMTV and Tech Tech.

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