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Nokia Still Dominates UAE Mobile Phone Market, but is Losing Market Share

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Just over half of all phones used in the UAE during the last quarter of 2013 were smartphones, with Apple's iPhone 5 the top model, although Nokia still dominates the market overall.

According to the report, between 1 October 2013 and 31 December 2013, 51% of handsets registered on the UAE's networks were smartphones, a figure that increased by 10% during 2013 and 5% in the fourth quarter alone.

In terms of smartphone models, the iPhone 5 was the most commonly used smartphone in the UAE comprising 3% of the total handsets registered on UAE networks.

The report illustrates that the Samsung SIII was the second most popular smartphone with 2.6% of the market share, followed by iPhone 4S (2.3%), iPhone 4 (1.8%), both BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Galaxy S Duos at (1.7%); Samsung S4 LTE (1.5%); iPhone 4S (1.2%) and Samsung S4 (0.9%).

The report indicates that 51.5% 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%), BlackBerry (9.0%), Apple (8.4%), LG (0.9%), HTC (0.7%), Huawei (0.5%) and Sony (0.3%), and HTC (0.6%). Unlike Nokia and Blackberry, Samsung and Apple recorded increases in their market shares in Q4.

In terms of specific handset models, the Nokia 101/1010 (3.9%) continues to be the most popular mobile handset in UAE in Q4. In Q4, the Nokia 1280/1282 (3.6%) was the second most popular handset followed by the iPhone 5 (3.0%), Nokia E5 (2.9%), Nokia X1 (2.8%), Samsung SIII (2.6%), iPhone 4S (2.3%), iPhone 4 (1.8%), both BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Galaxy S Duos at (1.7%), Nokia E63 (1.4%), iPhone 5S (1.2%) and Samsung S4 (0.9%).

During the period from 1 October 2013 to 31 December 2013, users of smartphones and fixed Internet services in the UAE visited various applications websites a total of 2.3 billion times. Apple iTunes was by far the most commonly visited applications website at 84%, followed by Samsung Apps at 6%, Blackberry App World and Nokia OVI.

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 from 1 October 2013 to 31 December 2013. Visits to Facebook accounted for 84% of total visits to social networking sites, followed by Twitter with 13% of visits, then LinkedIn, Maktoob and MySpace.

Commenting on the review, H.E. Majed Almesmar, TRA Deputy Director General for Telecommunications Sector said: "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."

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Tags: nokia  apple iphone  samsung  United Arab Emirates