Mobile phone sales dropped by 1.7 percent in 2012: Gartner

Worldwide mobile phones sales have declined by 1.7 percent in 2012, according to a recent Gartner report. As per the findings of the report, while Apple and Samsung together hold more than 50 percent of the total market share, surprisingly Huawei has become the third top vendor to sell smartphones among all the players.

The fourth quarter of 2012 had recorded worldwide smartphone market share of Apple and Samsung together to grow to 52 percent from 46.4 percent in the third quarter of 2012.

A striking finding in the Gartner report suggests that for the first time Huawei has reached third position among smartphone vendors due to high increase in sales in fourth quarter. The company had sold 27.2 million smartphones to end users in 2012, up 73.8 percent from 2011. Recently released flagship Ascend D2 and Mate at CES are placed in premium models and helped the brand sales accelerate further in the market. Gartner analysts have been reported to say that Huawei will grow exponentially in the international markets in 2013.

The report shows that worldwide mobile phone sales to end users has been recorded as 1.75 billion units in 2012, which is 1.7 percent lower than sales recorded in 2011. This decline in sales was last recorded in the year 2009. Though fourth quarter of 2012 recorded smartphone sales of 207.7 million units, which is up 38.3 percent from last quarter of last year, tough economic conditions along with changing consumer preferences and growing market competition kept pulling the strings tight and thus resulted in a decline in sales worldwide.

Feature phones again were low in demand throughout the year 2012 with sales totaling to 264.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012. There sales has gone down 19.3 percent year-on-year and will continue to decline in 2013, Gartner estimates.

Samsung topped the chart and continues to grow with its overall smartphone sales totaling to 64.5 million units. This is up 85.3 percent from the Q4 2011. Another finding is that it totaled 384.6 million mobile phones sales, out of which 53.5 percent was contributed by the smartphone.

Apple touched 43.5 million units in Q4, 2012 and totaled 130 million smartphone sales worldwide, though Apple claims to have sold over 47 million iPhones. The report also suggests that demand for iPhone 4 and 4S models gained momentum due to less expensive price. The iPad Mini also became a considerable choice by many over iPhone 5.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, Nokia had relatively good sales for Asha mobile phones and Lumia Windows Phone 8 models, but recorded total of 18 percent, the lowest it has ever been. In 2012, Nokia reached 39.3 million smartphone sales worldwide, down 53.6 percent from 2011.

Gartner also projects that sales of worldwide smartphone sales to end users will be close to 1 billion units in 2013, and overall mobile phone sales to end users are estimated to reach 1.9 billion units.