So which innovations do UAE smartphone users want to see most?

03 Jan 2020

A majority of UAE residents want a range of smartphone innovations but many don’t think they will see them in the near future, according to YouGov research.

When presented with a list of advances in communication technology, the data shows that UAE residents are most interested in seeing the launch of unbreakable screens (69 percent), followed by the development of better sand or water resistant features (67 percent), motion charging phones (66 percent) and solar powered devices (65 percent).

However, even though a majority want to see these innovations, fewer expect them to happen in the near future.

Just over two in five (43 percent) said they feel unbreakable screens will be a possibility in the next two years, with similar proportions feeling the same about the introduction of water and sand resistant devices (42 percent), motion charging phones (44 percent) and solar powered devices (45 percent).

Scott Booth, YouGov's head of data products and services, MENA, said: “Not surprisingly, when asked what innovations would be most meaningful to them, consumers focus on durability and battery life. Despite numerous iterative innovations in smartphone technology over the past few years, consumers are still hoping to have a device they do not have to worry so much about breaking or plugging in at any opportunity.”

Analysis of YouGov’s brand perception data around new handset launches from Samsung, Huawei, and Apple in 2019 suggests although the incremental innovations create some level of media interest, they don’t move the dial in other areas.

UAE’s leading smartphone manufacturer Samsung launched an upgraded version of its flagship phone, the Galaxy S10, in March, with advancements in its display and camera, and world’s first in-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner.

Huawei's flagship P30 series was launched on 1st April with a calling card of super zoom lenses while Apple's iPhone 11 Series with double and triple rear cameras was launched in September and the phones went on sale in the UAE from 20th September.

Booth said: "As our data show, it is apparent that any time in the year these smartphone giants have launched new devices, residents in the UAE show notable interest. However, it appears this round of innovations are insufficient to drive new handset purchase. Given the apparent commoditization of smartphone handsets, whoever wins the race to the next major innovation may be poised to win big."

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