Worldwide Sales of Mobile Phones Down 2.3% in 2Q of 2012

There have been rumors that the global mobile market might take a pause from it's acceleration, but those were only rumors, now Gartner brings data to prove that.

According to Gartner, worldwide sales of mobile phones reached 419 million units in the 2Q of 2012, a 2.3% decline from the 2Q of 2011, while smartphone sales accounted for 36.7% of total mobile phone sales and grew 42.7% in 2Q of 2012.

The trend established for quite a while maintained for the feature phones and the demand continued to decline, significantly weakening the overall mobile phone market.

The slow down in demand (2Q 2012) must blame the challenging economic environment and the users that are postponing upgrades to take advantage of high-profile device launches and promotions available before the end of the year.


Samsung's mobile phone sales grew up 29.5% from 2Q of 2011, and managed to extend its lead over Apple. The record sales of Galaxy smartphones mean that smartphones now account for 50.4 percent of all Samsung mobile devices (45.6 million units). The new Galaxy S3 exceeded Samsung's own expectations with 10 million units sold in just two months after release. Galaxy S3 was the best-selling Android product in the quarter and could have been higher but for product shortages.

Consumer demand for the Apple iPhone fainted as sales fell 12.6% from the first quarter of 2012. Depending on the launch date of the new iPhone, Apple might experience a weaker-than-usual quarter in the third quarter of 2012. Still, Apple is probably getting ready to take advantage of the strong holiday sales in North America and Western Europe that have historically remained immune to economic pressure.

Smartphone OS

In the smartphone OS market, Android grew its advance with an increase of 20.7% points in market share while Apple's iOS market share declined 3.7 percentage points quarter on quarter, as users postponed their upgrade decisions in most markets ahead of the alleged launch of iPhone 5.

Near Future

Smartphone launches such as the anticipated Apple iPhone 5, along with Chinese manufacturers pushing 3G and preparing for major device launches in the second half of 2012, will drive the smartphone market upward.

You can find the entire Gartner press release here.

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