Posted by Aisha Yaqub / October 3, 2013 The Middle East and Africa region is seeing a rapid growth in the sales and penetration level of smartphones. Smartphones are the most desired devices among the 18 to 34 year group in the Middle East. The Middle East region is expected to account for the second-largest mobile phone population of any region in the world, according to eMarketer's latest Global Media Intelligence Report . Although Asia-Pacific has the largest mobile phone population in the entire world with more than 2.43 billion subscribers, the Middle East and Africa is No. 2 region in terms of the number of mobile phone owners – where 525.8 million people of any age are expected to use a mobile phone at least monthly this year. According to the report, Smartphone use in the region will nearly double this year to 112.2 million, up from 67 million last year, while penetration of smartphones among the population as a whole in MEA will increase from 5.1% to 8.3%. Networking giant Cisco's recent survey also reveals that the Middle East is seeing a massive growth in the sales and penetration level of smartphones in the market. The Middle East and Africa will have the strongest mobile data traffic growth of any region at 77 percent CAGR. This region will be followed by Asia Pacific at 76 percent and Latin America at 67 percent, according to Cisco's report titled ' Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2012–2017 '. Mobile worker population is also on the rise. IDC earlier had reported that the mobile era in the workplace is emerging. Their research showed that mobility trends transcends geographical, industry and cultural boundaries. The guys at Go-Gulf.com have come up with an Infographic on Smartphone usage in the Middle East revealing some interesting stats and trends. In the Middle East, Qatar has the highest percentage of smartphone penetration, at 75%, while UAE comes a close second, at 73%. Although smartphone sales & penetration has seen a rapid growth, it is still expected to increase by 39% in the Middle East by 2015. Certain interesting facts about the sales & penetration of smartphones in Middle East include the age factor. 72% of owners are less than 34 years old – with males dominating with 62% compared to 38% females. Regarding the smartphone market share by platform, Android stands at 40% and iOS at 35%. Their lesser known counterparts BBM OS and Windows Mobile stand at a meager 15% and 10%. It is interesting to know that 93% of Middle East smartphones owners, use their devices while at home.