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Report: iPhone tops in UAE, smartphones now the majority in market

updated 10:02 pm EDT, Mon March 10, 2014

Apple first among smartphone makers, fourth when all mobile phones counted

Specific (and more importantly, accurate) country-by-country statistics when it comes to smartphones and "feature" cellphones are often hard to come by, but not in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The country keeps detailed records on its telecom providers, providing complete records of mobile phone statistics. Apple has emerged as the top smartphone seller, though it runs far behind Nokia when all types of cellphones are counted.

For the fourth quarter of 2013, 51 percent of all mobile handsets in the UAE were smartphones, a new record and up 10 percent year-over-year, with half of that growth in the fourth quarter alone. Apple's iPhone 5 was the top-selling smartphone at three percent, followed by Samsung's Galaxy SIII at 2.6 percent and Apple's iPhone 4S at 2.3 percent. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 and the Samsung Galaxy S Duo tied for fourth place, with 1.7 percent market share each.

When feature and smartphone numbers are combined, Nokia is still the dominant player in the UAE market -- though its hold is slipping. Some 51.5 percent of all handsets in the country were made by Nokia, though nearly all of them are "feature" phones and the number of such units is falling dramatically (down 10 percent from just the previous quarter). Samsung, which also sells feature phones still, took second place with 17.9 percent share, followed by BlackBerry with nine percent and Apple with 8.4 percent. Apple is the only one of the top four makers which does not sell any models of feature phones.

Apple's iTunes was by far the most popular app store website visited by UAE users, accounting for 84 percent of such visits, while Samsung App only netted six percent of app store visitors. While app store categories saw 2.3 billion visits from UAE users, social networking sites were far more popular, registering 11.5 billion visits in the fourth quarter. Facebook was the destination for 84 percent, with Twitter garnering 13 percent.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 11-28-08

    This story proves that Apple is doomed because they don't sell feature-phones. Wall Street says Apple must compete at all levels in order to survive.

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