Apple’s iPhone 5 continued to be the most commonly used smartphone among UAE users in the first quarter of 2014, according to data released by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).
The device was also named the country’s most popular smartphone in 2013 with a 2.8 per cent marketshare- a figure that was sustained in Q1 2014.
Samsung’s Galaxy S3 was the second most commonly used smartphone with 2.7 per cent of market share, followed by the iPhone 5s, which had a market share of 2.5 per cent. Other popular models in the UAE include iPhone 4s (2.1 per cent), Galaxy S Duos (1.8 per cent) and Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE (1.7 per cent).
Among smartphones, the iPhone 5s registered the highest increase in market share during Q1 2014 as it replaced the iPhone 4s as the third most popular handset used.
The market shares of Galaxy S Duos and Samsung Galaxy S4 also rose while the share of iPhone 4s and BlackBerry Bold 9900 fell.
According to the report, around 52 per cent of handsets registered on the UAE’s networks were smartphones, a figure that rose by 10 per cent in 2013 but was up by just one per cent in Q1 2014.
Nokia manufactured almost 50.2 per cent of all handsets registered in the UAE though the number has been steadily declining over time. Samsung handsets were the second most popular, comprising around 19.3 per cent of the total followed by Apple at 9.1 per cent.
But unlike Nokia, Samsung and Apple recorded a rise in their market share of handsets in Q1 2014, the report said. Apple replaced BlackBerry as the third most popular manufacturer in the first quarter of 2014.
The report also tracked the most visited applications among users of smartphones and fixed internet services in the UAE. Apple iTunes was the most commonly visited application website in Q1 2014, followed by Samsung Apps, Black Berry App World and Nokia OVI.
“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,” the report added.
The TRA also noted UAE users made a total of 21.7 billion visits to social networking sites during the first few months of 2014.
Facebook accounted for 86 per cent of total visits to social media, followed by Twitter, which constituted around 12 per cent of the user traffic. LinkedIn, Maktoob and MySpace were the other top social networking sites that were used.
The UAE ranks highest in the world in terms of smartphone penetration with 73.8 per cent of consumers owning smartphones.
According to research revealed by Gartner, the sale of smartphones is expected to grow 30 per cent to reach 74 million in the MENA region in 2014.