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Global Media Intelligence 2021: Saudi Arabia

Noteworthy in 2021

Smartphones are omnipresent, and smartwatches are making headway.

  • More than 98% of internet users in Saudi Arabia ages 16 to 64 owned a smartphone in H1 2021, almost unchanged from last year. Time spent with phones and other mobile devices rose to 4 hours, 24 minutes (4:24) per day on average in H1 2021.
  • Fewer than 58% of all respondents had a desktop or laptop, though. Penetration was below average among younger adults (ages 16 to 34) and in lower-income households. Conversely, the share of affluents owning a PC continued to rise, to 76.5%. City dwellers were also more likely to have a PC than respondents in suburban and rural areas. Despite fairly low penetration overall, the average time internet users spent daily with PCs and tablets was 3:42.
  • Tablet penetration was also much greater among web users in high-income households (47.6%), compared with the national average (31.3%). Females were more likely to own a tablet, too. But surprisingly, the share of tablet owners in the 55-to-64 age bracket had plunged by more than 16 percentage points year over year (YoY), to 25.3%.
  • To date, investment in smart home devices, such as household energy consumption monitors, has been notably low. Fewer than 7% of internet users in Saudi Arabia owned a smart home product in H1 2021—and even in higher-income homes, penetration fell short of 10%.
  • However, smartwatches and smart wristbands did gain ground. Following a pattern seen in many other countries, penetration of both devices grew by a few percentage points; in H1 2021, 20.5% of internet users polled owned a smartwatch, and 12.4% had a smart wristband. Penetration was significantly higher in middle- and high-income homes; more than 30% of respondents in affluent households owned a smartwatch.


Karin von Abrams


Anam Baig
Senior Editor
Joanne DiCamillo
Magenta Fox
Senior Chart Editor
Kathleen Hamblin
Chart Editorial Manager
Dana Hill
Director of Production
Erika Huber
Copy Editor
Hilary Rengert
VP, Research Strategy
Amanda Silvestri
Senior Copy Editor
Ali Young
Research Editor
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