The trend towards greater smartphone use continues, as outlined in Gartner’s latest quarterly sales analysis. And yes, Samsung is doing rather well… Guy Daniels reports.
Worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users reached almost 428 million units in the third quarter of 2012 – a 3.1 per cent decline from Q3 2011, according to research firm Gartner. However, smartphone sales accounted for 39.6 per cent of total mobile phone sales, increasing 46.9 per cent from Q3 last year.
Despite the overall year-on-year mobile phone market decline, Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, said there were positive signs for the industry during the third quarter:
“After two consecutive quarter of decline in mobile phone sales, demand has improved in both mature and emerging markets as sales increased sequentially. In China, sales of mobile phones grew driven by sales of smartphones, while demand of feature phones remained weak.
In mature markets, we finally saw replacement sales pick up with the launch of new devices in the quarter.”
Smartphone sales rose to 169.2 million units worldwide in Q3, dominated by Apple and Samsung. Together, both vendors controlled 46.5 per cent of the market. RIM moved to the third place spot with HTC not far behind in fourth, despite both companies reporting declining sales in the past few quarters, and are in danger of losing their rankings soon. Nokia is evidence of this, slipping from third to seventh during the third quarter.
Samsung sold almost 98 million mobile phones in Q3, up 18.6 per cent year-on-year, thanks to strong demand for its Galaxy smartphones, and widened the gap with Apple. Nokia’s mobile phone sales declined 21.9 per cent in Q3, but overall sales at 82.3 million were better than Gartner’s early estimate, largely driven by increased sales of the Asha full touch range. The firm doesn’t expect to see any significant improvement in Nokia’s position until 2013.
Android continued to increase its share of the smartphone market, up 19.9 percentage points in the third quarter of 2012 to reach 72.4 per cent. Apple’s iOS remains in second spot with 13.9 per cent. Although RIM lost market share, it climbed to the third position ahead of Symbian, which is nearing the end of its lifecycle. Windows Phone’s share weakened year-on-year as the Windows Phone 8 launch dampened demand of Windows Phone 7 devices.
Gartner analysts said that there will be a lower-than-usual boost from the holiday season, with consumers either cautious with their spending or finding new gadgets like tablets to be more attractive gifts.
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