Revealed: iPhone 5S most popular smartphone in UAE

iPhone 5S is the most popular smartphone in the UAE, according to data released by TRA. (Supplied)

The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, (TRA) has revealed statistics for the third quarter of 2014 on the nation’s most popular mobile phone handsets, social networking platforms and applications websites. The report reveals the market share of mobile phones in the UAE by manufacturer and model.

According to the report, during the period from July 1, 2013 to  September 30, 2014, 59 per cent of handsets registered on the UAE’s networks were smartphones, a figure that has been constantly increasing overtime.

The iPhone 5s was the most commonly used in the UAE, comprising 3.7 per cent of total handsets registered on UAE networks, a figure that increased by 22 per cent during Q2 2014 and by 6 per cent in Q3 2014. The iPhone 5 was the second most popular, with 2.5 per cent of the market share. The third most common was the Samsung S III (2.4 per cent), followed by iPhone 4S (1.7 per cent), Samsung S4 LTE (1.7 per cent), Galaxy S Duos (1.5 per cent), iPhone 4 (1.4 per cent), Samsung Note 3 (1.2 per cent), BlackBerry Bold 9900 (1.2 per cent) and Samsung S5 (0.7 per cent).

Nasser Al Ghanim, Director General, 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." 

The report indicates that 45 per cent of all handsets registered on UAE networks were manufactured by Nokia, although this figure has been declining over time. This figure decreased by 5 per cent during the last two quarters.  This was followed by Samsung (22.6 per cent), Apple (10  per cent), BlackBerry (6.1 per cent), Sony (1.1 per cent), HTC (1 per cent), then the newly emerged manufacturer Lenovo (0.9 per cent) and Huawei (0.8 per cent). Although their growth has shrunk, Samsung and Apple recorded increases in their market shares in Q3 2014.

In terms of specific handset models, the iPhone 5s was the most popular mobile handset in UAE in Q3. The Nokia 105/1050 (3.4 per cent) was the second most popular, followed by the Nokia 101/1010 (2.9 per cent), both iPhone 5 and Nokia 1280/1282 at (2.5 per cent), Samsung S III (2.4 per cent), Nokia E5 (2 per cent), Nokia X1 (1.9 per cent), both iPhone 4S and Samsung S4 LTE at (1.7 per cent), Galaxy S Duos (1.5 per cent), iPhone 4 (1.4 per cent), Samsung Note 3 (1.2 per cent), both BlackBerry Bold 9900 (0.8 per cent) and Samsung S4 at (0.8 per cent); and Samsung S5 LTE (0.7 per cent). Without exception, all the feature phones' market shares such as Nokia X1, E5 and 1280/1282 have declined in Q3 2014.

The report also provides information on the most popular mobile operating systems used in the UAE.  The use of Symbian is declining over time and Android was the most commonly used as of Q3 2014.  The market share of iOS is steadily increasing while RIM (the operating system for Blackberry) is continuously decreasing.

From July 1 2014 to September 30, 2014, users of smartphones and fixed Internet services in the UAE visited various application websites. Apple iTunes was by far the most commonly visited, followed by Samsung Apps, Android Applications and Nokia OVI, while Blackberry App came last. The number of visits to BlackBerry and Nokia applications websites has been declining over time while the volume of visits to Apple iTunes and Samsung is progressively increasing.

In terms of social media, UAE smartphone and fixed Internet users made a total of 28 billion visits to social networking websites during the period. Visits to Facebook accounted for 88 per cent of total visits to social networking sites, followed by Twitter with 9 per cent of visits, then LinkedIn, Maktoob and MySpace.


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