Detail of the article I referenced yesterday that, to me, seems worth emphasizing.
Nearly all the channel checks and sales forecasts have focused on Canada, the UK, and the US. The infrequent mentions of the Middle East lead me to believe that many people have overlooked the importance of the region to BlackBerry.
The Middle East is a particularly strong region for BlackBerry, and contains a large proportion of affluent users, unlike many of the other markets where BlackBerry is a leader. One report pegged BlackBerry as having 35% market share in Gulf countries.
In addition, smartphone sales are very high relative to population. Canalys estimated that the UAE would have 6.75 million in smartphone sales in 2013, while Saudi Arabia would have 13.94 million smartphone sales. We have also extrapolated smartphone sales for other Gulf countries based on population in the table below.
As for market share, a YouGov survey indicated that 15% of UAE respondents said they were extremely likely to purchase the Z10, and 38% said they were somewhat likely to do so. For the Middle East and North Africa region as a whole, 8% said that they were extremely likely to purchase the Z10, and 30% said they were somewhat likely to do so. We're going to use 22% as the market share numbers for the UAE and 12% for the rest of these countries, as some of the somewhat likely respondents would purchase the Z10, and there is also the Q10 to consider.
With 4 million units in annual sales, the Middle East would potentially sell nearly as many BB10 units as the UK and Canada combined, and nearly as many units as the United States as well. However, this region gets very little focus from analysts and may be overlooked during forecast calculations.