Global mobile phone sales dropped in the second quarter of the year, but smartphone sales are still on the rise, according to market watcher Gartner.
Former market leader Nokia continued to lose market share as Samsung’s star carried on rising.
For Q2, Samsung snared 21.6 per cent of the global market, compared with Nokia’s 19.9 per cent. In fact, Nokia’s mobile phone sales declined 14.8 per cent in Q2 2012 as its devices struggled to find a place in buyers’ minds as a replacement for Android.
Apple was still some way behind in third place, with 6.9 per cent. Interestingly, fast-growing Chinese giant Huawei is in sixth place, with 2.6 per cent of the global market.
Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, said: “Demand slowed further in the second quarter of 2012. The challenging economic environment and users postponing upgrades to take advantage of high-profile device launches and promotions available later in the year slowed demand across markets. Demand for feature phones continued to decline, significantly weakening the overall mobile phone market.”
But despite the general decline, smartphone sales are up, and Gupta said some prominent launches later in the year will further boost the market.
“High-profile smartphone launches from key manufacturers 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,” he added.
Breaking down the figures, Samsung’s mobile phone sales increased 29.5 per cent compared with the same quarter the previous year and it extended its lead on both Apple and Nokia quarter on quarter.
Gartner attributed this to strong demand for the new Galaxy S3, with the vendor shifting 10 million units two months after its release. Smartphones now account for 50.4 per cent of all Samsung mobile devices.
Demand for the iPhone weakened in Q2, falling 12.6 per cent from Q1 2012, but growing 47.4 per cent year on year. Gartner said Apple could experience another weaker-than-expected quarter in Q3, as the build-up to the new iPhone continues.
However, Gupta said the two vendors are still the dominant smartphone players.
"Samsung and Apple continued to dominate the smartphone market, together taking about half the market share, and widening the gap to other manufacturers. No other smartphone vendors had share close to 10 per cent," he added.
"In the race to be top smartphone manufacturer in 2012, Samsung has consistently increased its lead over Apple, and its open OS market share increased to one and a half times that of Apple in the second quarter of 2012."
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