A new Gallup report shows cell phone penetration increasing rapidly in the Arab world over the past year - much faster than internet access. So while the revolution may not have been tweeted, as Malcolm Gladwell claimed, it may well have been texted. Here's the main point of the report:
Technology's pivotal role in the change that swept the Arab world in late 2010 and early 2011 underscores how quickly its young people are gaining access to information and communication technology. Gallup surveys conducted before the unrest show 87% of 15- to 29-year-olds across the Arab League say they have cellular phone access, up from 79% in 2009. Home and community Internet access are up, too, but not nearly as much.
Young Arabs' reported cellular phone access increased more than any other indicator the Silatech Index tracks. This shift creates opportunities for mass communication with this key demographic as well as possible business opportunities.
Most of the growth is taking place in middle- and low-income countries, where young Arabs' access to cell phones increased to 87% and 81%, respectively. At 98%, cellular phone access remains nearly universal in high-income countries.