UAE consumers have generally turned cautious about their spending after the COVID-19 strike. Smartphones is just one category where this is apparent. Image Credit: Pixabay

Dubai: Smartphone brands and vendors take note - a majority of UAE consumers (71 per cent) prefer to hold on to their handsets "for longer". It could mean that some of pricey model launches could be in for some tepid response if mindsets don't change soon.

Last year too, demand for smartphones had a torrid first-half, but recovered towards the last few months of the year, helped by releases from Apple, Samsung and Huawei. Among UAE consumers, 77 per cent would hold on to their current handsets if the devices maintained their performance over time.

Over half are concerned about the excessive electronic waste produced and 61 per cent users make an effort to buy products that help the environment, according to findings by Fly Research.

A few worries

Around 60 per cent of respondents admit to being worried about being scammed, while a surprisingly high 47 per cent of Gen Z respondents (18-24-year olds) say they have already been scammed.

While 19 per cent admit they update their software straight away, 17 per cent let their software be updated at night automatically. But on the flip side, nearly half do not know if their phone has the latest security updates or not, leaving them vulnerable to hackers.

“This report not only highlights the love that people globally have for their phones, but also the growing wish for a mobile they can trust will keep all their information safe that they can keep for longer,” said Stephen Taylor, CMO at HMD Global, which owns Nokia.

Time spent

In the UAE, 78 per cent claim they spend more than 30 minutes looking at their phone’s screen each day. Almost three quarters said they have used their phones for shopping. The share of those who use smartphones for fitness-related activities or for banking stood at 69 per cent, as did the share of those who use them for transactions.