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December 2013
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TD Magazine
Mobile Learning Booms in Global Markets

Africa and the Middle East bypass e-learning and head straight for mobile learning.

Intelligence4
The mobile learning markets in Africa and the Middle East are thriving, according to two new reports from industry analyst Ambient Insight.

In fact, the mobile learning market in Africa is the highest in the world, according to The 2012-2017 Africa Mobile Learning Market, which reports that the five-year compounded annual growth rate is 38.9 percent. The report also forecasts revenues from mobile learning products to grow more than five times to reach $530.1 million by 2017, up from the $102.4 million reached in 2012.

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Ambient Insight Chief Research Officer Sam Adkins explains that mobile devices are now the primary computing devices used by consumers in many countries in Africa—in what often is referred to as a post-PC experience.

"In the developed economies, mobile learning is often seen as a disruptive learning technology, particularly in the consumer and academic segments. It is ostensibly disrupting the legacy PC-based e-learning industry," says Adkins. "Buyers in Africa are not substituting mobile learning for self-paced e-learning; they are leapfrogging e-learning altogether."

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And Africa is not alone in its embrace of mobile learning. The 2012-2017 Middle East Mobile Learning Market reports that revenues from mobile learning products reached $88.3 million in 2012, and are expected to more than double to $205.4 million by 2017.

Ambient Insight has identified four major catalysts in the growing Middle East mobile learning market: consumer demand for apps, large-scale deployments of tablets in the academic segments, countrywide content digitization efforts across the primary and secondary school systems, and the rapid adoption of mobile learning in higher education.

These catalysts have created high demand for custom content development services in the academic segments. In fact, revenues for custom content development services in the Middle East are predicted to triple by 2017.

About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at rellis@td.org. 

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