x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Apple iPhone 5 beats Samsung S3 as UAE’s most popular smartphone

Data from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority shows that 51 per cent of handsets registered in the last three months of the year were smartphones, up from 46 per cent in the third quarter.

The iPhone 5 was the most popular smartphone, accounting for 3 per cent of all handsets registered on UAE networks. Courtesy Apple
The iPhone 5 was the most popular smartphone, accounting for 3 per cent of all handsets registered on UAE networks. Courtesy Apple

The iPhone 5 extended its lead as the country’s most popular smartphone in the fourth quarter of last year as a growing number of consumers in the UAE followed the global trend and chose the latest feature phones over basic models.

Data from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) shows that 51 per cent of handsets registered in the last three months of the year were smartphones, up from 46 per cent in the third quarter.

“The report … reflects a dynamic ecosystem in which both feature phones and smartphones are emerging as the future growth engines of the telecommunications industry,” said Majed Almesmar, TRA deputy director general for the telecommunications sector.

The iPhone 5 was the most popular smartphone, accounting for 3 per cent of the total handsets registered on UAE networks, up from 2.8 per cent in the previous quarter. The Samsung Galaxy S3 was next with 2.6 per cent of market share, the TRA said.

Samsung and Apple increased their market share to 17.9 per cent and 8.4 per cent, respectively.

“The growing range of smartphone devices must be a factor,” said Matthew Reed, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media and head of research for the Middle East and Africa.

“The figures show the iPhone 5 – a premium device – is the most popular single model. But it’s likely that the increasing availability of more affordable smartphones is also contributing to the rising smartphone take-up.”

The troubled manufacturers Nokia and BlackBerry continued to lose ground. While Nokia still dominates the overall market with more than half of all handsets, its market share fell to 51.5 per cent in the fourth quarter from 56.2 per cent in the earlier quarter, data that confirms its market share “has been declining over time”, the TRA said.

Apple’s iTunes remained by far the most dominant applications website during the quarter, way ahead of rival sites.

Twitter experienced a jump in visits from UAE mobile and fixed internet users, quarter-on-quarter, with 13 per cent of a total of 11.5 billion visits to social networking websites in the last three months of the year compared to 8 per cent in the previous three-month period.

Facebook’s share dropped to 84 per cent in the fourth quarter from 91 per cent in the third quarter.

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