Thursday, February 14, 2013

Worldwide mobile phone sales decline 1.7 per cent in 2012: Gartner


Worldwide mobile phone sales totaled 1.75 billion units in 2012, a 1.7 per cent decline from the previous calendar year, according to technology researcher Gartner, Inc.

Smartphones continued to drive overall mobile phone sales, and the fourth quarter of 2012 saw record smartphone sales of 207.7 million units, up 38.3 per cent from the same period last year, it said.

"The last time the worldwide mobile phone market declined was in 2009," said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.

"Tough economic conditions, shifting consumer preferences and intense market competition weakened the worldwide mobile phone market this year."

Demand for feature phones remained weak in 2012 and in the fourth quarter. Feature phone sales totaled 264.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, down 19.3 per cent year-on-year. Gartner analysts expect feature phones sales to continue to fall in 2013.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, Apple and Samsung together raised their worldwide smartphone market share to 52 per cent from 46.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2012. Samsung ended the year in the number one position, in both worldwide smartphone sales and overall mobile phone sales.