Apple’s iPhone 5 was the most commonly used smartphone in the UAE and 51 per cent of the handsets registered on the UAE’s networks were smartphones, according to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of UAE’s fourth-quarter report.

The report revealed that iPhone 5 had three per cent of the total handsets registered on UAE networks.

During the period between October 1 and December 31, 2013, Samsung SIII was the second most popular smartphone with 2.6 per cent of the market share, followed by iPhone 4S (2.3 per cent), iPhone 4 (1.8 per cent), both BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Galaxy S Duos at (1.7 per cent); Samsung S4 LTE (1.5 per cent); iPhone 4S (1.2 per cent) and Samsung S4 (0.9 per cent).

“The report provides an interesting snapshot of the UAE’s mobile handset market which has very distinct characteristics in terms of consumer adoption. It also reflects a dynamic ecosystem in which both feature phones and smartphones are emerging as the future growth engines of the telecommunications industry,” Majed Al Mesmar, TRA Deputy Director General for Telecommunications Sector, said in a statement.

The report indicates that 51.5 per cent of all handsets registered on UAE networks were manufactured by Nokia, a figure that has been declining over time. This was followed by Samsung (17.9 per cent), BlackBerry (9.0 per cent), Apple (8.4 per cent), LG (0.9 per cent), HTC (0.7 per cent), Huawei (0.5 per cent) and Sony (0.3 per cent).

Unlike Nokia and Blackberry, Samsung and Apple recorded increases in their market shares in the fourth quarter. 

iTunes most commonly visited

Apple iTunes was by far the most commonly visited applications website at 84 per cent, followed by Samsung Apps at six per cent, Blackberry App World and Nokia OVI. Users of smartphones and fixed Internet services in the UAE visited various applications websites a total of 2.3 billion times.

In terms of social media, UAE smartphone and fixed internet users made a total of 11.5 billion visits to social networking websites during the period. Visits to Facebook accounted for 84 per cent of total visits to social networking sites, followed by Twitter with 13 per cent of visits, then LinkedIn, Maktoob and MySpace.

“The findings derived from the TRA’s latest piece of research reinforce the vibrancy of the UAE’s mobile sector. The TRA is committed to producing research that accurately depicts the current state of the market which in turn, enables the UAE to track its progress and remain ahead of the global mobile industry curve.” Al Mesmar stated.