(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Nokia is planning to boost cooperation with Jordanian developers to create applications to serve the Arab world, where demand for mobile apps is on the rise.
"Jordan is a rich pool of talented human skills. We want to increase our cooperation with young Jordanians who work in the field of app development to serve the entire Arab world," Mathia Nalappan, vice president of North Africa and Levant at the Finnish multinational communications corporation, told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.
"We are keen on using the capabilities of talented young Jordanians to create apps in Arabic... There is a need for localised apps in the Arab world and Jordanians can effectively contribute in this regard," he said during the 2012 Mobile World Congress, which attracted more than 67,000 visitors from 205 countries last week.
Nokia, which currently cooperates with some Jordanian companies in software development, is planning to create a variety of apps in Arabic and introduce them to the region, he noted during the conference, which concluded last Thursday.
According to Nalappan, about 13 million apps are downloaded daily from the Nokia apps store.
"The Arab world is one of the big markets for apps and there is a growing need for apps as the number of people using smartphones is on the rise," he said.
Smartphone penetration in Jordan was estimated at 45 per cent by the end of 2011, according to experts in the local ICT sector. Nokia's Symbian smartphones have the lion's share of the local market with about 65 per cent, according to the ICT Association of Jordan (int@j).
Nokia, which recently launched Windows phones, will continue to invest in the Symbian operating system to increase its market share in the region and globally.
"We will continue to focus on Symbian devices as demand in certain markets such as the Middle East is high on Symbian devices," Nalappan said during the conference.
Worldwide smartphone sales to end users soared to 149 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, a 47.3 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2010, according to the technology research firm Gartner, Inc.
Total smartphone sales in 2011 reached 472 million units and accounted for 31 per cent of all mobile device sales, up 58 per cent from 2010, the report by Gartner indicated.
At the conference, the 2012 Global Mobile Awards were announced with the Angry Birds Rio game by Rovio Entertainment Ltd. winning the Best Mobile App for Consumers, Nokia's 808 Pure View the Best New Mobile Handset, Device or Tablet, Apple's iPad 2 the Best Tablet and Samsung the Device Manufacturer of the Year.
The four-day conference and exhibition, held by the GSM Association, attracted executives from the world's major mobile operators, software companies, equipment providers, Internet firms and media and entertainment organisations, as well as government delegations from across the globe.
"The 2012 Mobile World Congress was a phenomenal success, by any measure. The record numbers that attended this year's event underscore how central mobile devices are to the lives of people around the world," CEO of GSMA Ltd. John Hoffman said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.
The congress hosted more than 1,500 exhibiting companies, while over 3,300 international print, online and broadcast media representatives attended the event.