Nokia is the UAE's favourite phone manufacturer, according to a new report from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), with a 56.4 per cent share of the mobile market.
The Smartphone and Mobile Operating Systems Review identifies the most popular handsets in the country. Nokia, once considered a pioneer in the mobile sector, has been struggling to maintain its global sales. But the Finnish manufacturer has traditionally enjoyed a strong presence throughout the region thanks to its range of affordable entry-level handsets.
South Korea's Samsung, currently the top smartphone maker in the world, came in second place with 13.8 per cent of the UAE market, followed by BlackBerry with 10.7 per cent and Apple with 7.4 per cent.
The most popular handset in the UAE is the humble Nokia 1280/1282, with a 3.9 per cent share of the market. Nokia's performance in smartphone sales, however, is less impressive and is more reflective of global trends.
"This is testament to the fact that Nokia is as relevant today as it was and we are delivering products that consumers demand and creating new brand advocates every day," said Tom Farrell, the vice president at Nokia Middle East
Samsung's Galaxy S3 is the most popular smartphone, with 2.6 per cent of the market. Apple's iPhone 4S is the second-most popular, at 2.5 per cent.
Smartphones have been adopted by 44 per cent of UAE subscribers.
In terms of operating software, Symbian, Nokia's proprietary OS that it recently outsourced to Accenture, is the most popular, with 38 per cent. BlackBerry, another key player in the region, came second with 23 per cent, while Android followed with 21 per cent. Apple lagged behind at 16 per cent.
The UAE's consumer electronics industry is set to reach the US$3.97 billion mark by 2015, according to the report. The Government is keen to take advantage of the high smartphone penetration through its mGovernment initiative, in which it enables various government services to be made available directly on smartphones.
As for the country's internet behaviour, Facebook proved to be the most popular social media website, garnering 13.2 billion visits from April to June. Twitter managed 1.7 billion visits and LinkedIn 282 million. Yahoo's Maktoob recorded 8 million visits, a tad better than the struggling MySpace at 5 million visits.
"With 73 per cent penetration, internet usage in the UAE is currently exceeding both Mena and worldwide averages, which stand at 41 per cent and 51 per cent respectively," said Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, the director general of the TRA.
"The latest piece of research shows how healthy the UAE mobile sector is when compared to our counterparts across the globe."