Which OS Dominates the Arab Mobile Market? [Infographic]

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Android continues to be the world's favorite operating system, accounting for 64% of smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2013. As of 2012, iOS had only 18.8% market share, trailed by Blackberry at 4.7% and Windows at 2.6%. 

In the Arab world, Android also continues to dominate the smartphone market, as 40% of smartphone users own an Android device. Yet iOS is close on its heels, accounting for 35% of the market with Blackberry at a distant third (15%) and Windows behind that (10%).

As the below infographic by FrootApps shows, the region's consumers have 22 million smartphones and growing (12 million in the Gulf, 6 million in North Africa, 4 Million in the Levant), and Google edges out Apple in each market.

Yet Android's global and local market lead might not mean it's necessarily winning the race when it comes to revenue. As Forbes points out, Apple makes more money from hardware and apps than Google does, and makes proportionally more money from mobile ads. It also benefits from higher brand loyalty.

In the Arab world, startups are benefitting from Apple's close lead, as Apple allows developers to monetize their apps, while Google doesn't. Thanks to a lack of viable Google merchant accounts, Google doesn’t offer developers the ability to create a premium paid apps in any Arab country. Should that policy change, it could revolutionize developers’ revenue streams. But for now, mobile app developers often develop first and foremost for iOS. 

Of those who do use an Android OS, many mainly download games, a short report by Froot reveals. 38.6% of iOS users are searching for or downloading gaming apps, 21.4% search for social networking apps, and 5.5% search for entertainment. The same pattern holds for Android; gaming is by far the most popular search category on both operating systems.

Check out the infographic below for more details, or find Froot’s report on the mobile market here.

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