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Report: Global Mobile Phone Sales Declined 1.7 Percent in 2012

Wed, 02/13/2013 - 10:04am
Ben Munson

Global mobile phone sales totaled 1.75 billion units in 2012, marking a 1.7 percent decrease to the amount of handsets snatched up by end-users in 2011.

According to a new study by Gartner, smartphones rang up the most sales, with 207.7 million units moving in the fourth quarter of 2012, good enough for a 38.3 percent increase annually. Still, Gartner asserts that total sales were down for the first time since 2009.

“Tough economic conditions, shifting consumer preferences and intense market competition weakened the worldwide mobile phone market this year,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Although feature phones still beat out smartphones with 264.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, the demand for dumbphones dropped 19.3 annually.

Gartner predicts global mobile phone sales to move 1.9 billion units in 2013, with smartphone accounting for one billion of that total.

Samsung and Apple increased their total combined global smartphone market share to 52 percent from 46.4 percent in the previous year. But Huawei was able to sneak up into the number three spot by moving 27.2 smartphones in 2012, good enough for a whopping 73.8 percent increase annually.

Nokia, which held the highest market share percentage in global mobile sales in 2011, was knocked down to second for 2012 to make room for Samsung at the top.

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