For mobile marketers across the Middle East and Africa (MEA), there are now more bulls-eyes than ever within the emerging markets of MEA.

The MEA handset market grew to its largest size in ten quarters in Q2 2014, expanding 27% year on year to total 64 million units, IDC confirmed this week.

Not surprisingly, the majority of this growth was seen in the smartphone category, with a major shift underway in the composition of the market.

IDC says smartphone share of the overall MEA handset market jumped 13 percentage points year on year to reach 40% in Q2 2014, with that figure reaching as high as 75–80% in some of the region’s “more developed countries.”

“This massive and widespread growth is primarily due to the availability of extremely low-cost smartphones from various Chinese and Indian vendors, while vendors like Samsung, Huawei, and Lenovo have also launched models in the low to midrange price bands,” says Nabila Popal, research manager with IDC’s Systems and Infrastructure Systems Group. “Another factor driving smartphone growth is telecom operators in the region offering better data plans and subsidized phones.”