iPhone5 leads UAE smartphone surge

New figures show Nokia is the outright winner as the most popular handset manufacturer

The iPhone 5 has led a surge of smartphone registrations in the UAE this year as new figures show 52 percent of new handsets now fall into this category.

The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said the number of smartphones registered to the UAE’s networks increased by 10 percent in 2013, with a further one percent jump in Q1, 2014.

Of this, the iPhone 5 was the most commonly used smartphone in the UAE comprising 2.8 percent of total registered handsets, followed by the Samsung SIII with 2.7 percent of the market share, iPhone 5S (2.5 percent) and iPhone 4S (2.1 percent).

The TRA said iPhone 5s recorded the highest increase in market share in Q1, replacing the iPhone 4S as the third most popular handset overall.

The market shares of Galaxy S Duos and Samsung S4 LET also increased whereas the iPhone 4s and BlackBerry Bold 9900 fell, the TRA said.

In terms of specific handset models, the Nokia 101/1010 continued to be the most popular mobile handset in the UAE in Q1 at 3.6 percent market share. The Nokia 1280/1282 was the second most popular handset at three percent.

Figures showed half (50.2 percent) of all handsets registered on UAE networks were manufactured by Nokia, although the TRA noted this figure has been declining over time.

Samsung has captured 19.3 percent of the market, followed by Apple (9.1 percent), BlackBerry (8.2 percent), LG (0.9 percent) and HTC (0.7 percent).

“Unlike Nokia and Blackberry, Samsung and Apple recorded increases in their market shares in Q1 2014. However, in Q1 of 2014, Apple handsets replaced BlackBerry as being the third most popular mobile handsets used in UAE,” the TRA said.

It said Apple iTunes was by far the most commonly visited applications website in Q1, followed by Samsung Apps, Blackberry App World and Nokia OVI.

UAE Smartphone and fixed Internet users made a total of 21.7bn visits to social networking websites, the majority (86 percent) being to Facebook, followed by Twitter with 12 percent of visits, then LinkedIn, Maktoob and MySpace.

Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, director-general at TRA said: “The report illustrates a number of interesting trends emerging in the UAE’s mobile handset market. It also demonstrates the dynamic nature of consumer patterns in relation to handset choices. “

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