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By 9 September 2011 | Categories: news

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Flash memory cards manufacturer SanDisk has reported double- and triple-digit market growth in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) so far this year. This tremendous growth rates have been driven by the region's high mobile phone penetration rates as well as a growing appetite for flash-based storage devices.

In South Africa and East Africa, Q1 sales for 2011 have exceeded the entire year’s sales for 2010, with South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria leading the region. The UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other countries in the GCC have shown double and triple-digit year-on-year growth during Q1 of 2011.

“Based on global market research, our most popular product segments are flash memories for smart-phones, tablets and solid-state drives (SSD) for PCs. Our market in the Gulf is very mature and showing excellent growth,” said Tareq Husseini, SanDisk’s regional sales director, Middle East and Africa (MEA).

In South Africa and East Africa, SanDisk’s retail presence is bolstered by alliances with distributors MiDCOM as well as Tudortech.

Penetration of smartphones in the UAE and in Saudi Arabia is 11%  and 15% respectively, lagging behind the US where smartphone penetration is currently at 50%. However, smartphone penetration in the UAE is expected to increase 11% per year for the next three years.

“The UAE is the most mature market for flash storage for digital devices. As more high-profile concerts and exhibitions are held in the UAE, we have seen a lift in the usage of higher capacity cards, a positive sign for our business,” said Sreedhar Sreekumar, regional sales manager for SanDisk MEA.

“Our alignments with key retailers and the tech-savvy predominantly young population of the region are our greatest assets. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries lead in unit sales, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia setting the trend,” concluded Husseini.

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