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What mobile brands really say about people in MENA


What mobile brands really say about people in MENA

New data from digital advertising intelligence company Exponential Interactive reveals what people in the Middle East’s choice of mobile phone brand really says about them.

Under the leadership of newly-appointed regional business head, Amer Attyehy, Exponential, conducted an analysis of the anonymous online behavior of 1.1 million people in the Middle East and North Africa, researching mobile phones to compare the strongest – or most ‘over-indexing’ – interests across topics including film, cars, travel and shopping (see chart).

Of the five brands measured, Apple is the only one that women are more likely to be interested in than men, whereas Samsung, Blackberry, Nokia and LG are all more likely to be of interest to men. Geographically, Abu Dhabi residents are the most likely to be interested in Apple whilst Dubai residents are the most likely to be interested in Blackberry.

As confidence in e-commerce increases across the region, LG owners are leading the way, being the most likely to make purchases on a mobile phone, while Apple owners are the least likely.


Consumers researching iPhones are nearly 15 times more likely to be interested in Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, than the average person online. The film also scores very highly among Nokia (11x) and Samsung fans (7x). In contrast, Blackberry fans are 13x more likely than average to be into The Fast and the Furious films. Users interested in LG phones are 8x more likely to be interested in The Hunger Games.

Dream cars

Blackberry owners are 26x more likely than average to be researching the Lamborghini Gallardo, while Nokia owners are 30x more likely to be researching BMWs – twice that of Samsung owners (15x). iPhone owners are 23x more likely to be into Mercedes whilst LG fans are almost 16x more likely to research Land Rovers than average.


iPhone owners are 15x more likely than the average person to research golf and spa holidays, whilst LG owners are nearly 14x more likely to research cruises online. Business trips score very highly for the other three brands measured – Blackberry (14x), Nokia (9x) and Samsung (8x).

In terms of destinations, iPhone owners are 15x more likely to research trips to Cairo, while LG owners are 11x more likely to research Johannesburg, while Karachi scores highly for both Nokia (14x) and Samsung fans (10x).

“The research throws up challenges to stereotypes and interesting reinforcements about the type of people who own different phone brands,” says Attyeh. “For instance, iPhone owners were perceived as the young trendsetters but they’re actually the most likely to be into golf, fishing and looking at home insurance – things generally associated with older demographics.”

“More practically, this type of data helps companies advertise more effectively. For instance, it shows Apple would do well to use rap and hip hop music in marketing activity. Meanwhile sponsoring BMW-related events could pay dividends for Nokia. As The Hunger Games scores highly among people interested in LG, the brand should consider using star Jennifer Lawrence in marketing activity,” he adds.

Full infographic belowMENA Mobile Phone Infographic - Exponential

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