iPhone loses ground to Samsung's Galaxy, but Nokia remains on top in UAE's mobile market

Summary:In the United Arab Emirates, the mobile market is in flux, with Android on the rise and iOS slipping.

While Apple is ceding ground to Samsung in the UAE, Nokia is still the country's top dog.

Nokia's share of the UAE mobile market reached 56 percent in the second quarter of this year, up from 50 percent the previous quarter , according to figures released this week by the UAE's Telecoms Regulatory Authority (TRA).

Samsung has managed to up its share too: last quarter, it was neck and neck with BlackBerry for 10.7 percent of the market. Now it's increased that to 13.8 percent, while BlackBerry's share has remained unchanged.

Apple's share has shrunk, falling from 8.4 percent to 7.4 percent. Its iPhone 4S, previously the second most-used model of phone, has slipped out of the top five. Samsung's Galaxy S3 has inched its way into the top five instead, making it the fifth most-popular device behind four low-cost Nokia models.

The most-used handset remains the 1280, a talk-and-text candy bar released in 2010. Only one Nokia smartphones is in the top five, the E5, but it's an older Symbian-running device rather than a newer Lumia model.

According to the TRA, smartphone penetration in the country stood at 44 percent in the second quarter, with Symbian the most used smartphone operating system at 38 percent of the market. That's down markedly quarter on quarter: in Q1, 50 percent of all smartphones ran Symbian. The fall is perhaps unsurprising given the growth in cheaper Android devices and Nokia's decision to end Symbian device manufacturing earlier this year.

BlackBerry OS accounted for 23 percent of smartphones in the second quarter of this, followed by Android on 21 percent and iOS on 16 percent. While both BlackBerry and Android have effectively doubled their share of the UAE's smartphone OS market, Apple has slipped, falling three percentage points quarter on quarter.

Topics: Mobility, Mobile OS, Nokia, Smartphones


Jo Best has been covering IT for the best part of a decade for publications including silicon.com, Guardian Government Computing and ZDNet in both London and Sydney.

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