Worldwide mobile phone sales totalled 1.75 billion units in 2012, a 1.7 per cent decline from the previous calendar year, according to technology researcher Gartner, Inc. Smartphone continued to drive overall mobile phone sales, and the fourth quarter of 2012 saw record Smartphone sales of 207.7 million units, up 38.3 per cent from the same period last year, the research findings said. Demand for feature phones remained weak in 2012 and in the fourth quarter. Feature phone sales totalled 264.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, down 19.3 per cent year-on-year.
Gartner analysts expect feature phones sales to continue to fall in 2013. Gartner predicts that sales of worldwide Smartphone sales to end users will be close to one billion units in 2013, and overall mobile phone sales to end users are estimated to reach 1.9 billion units. In the fourth quarter of 2012, Apple and Samsung together raised their worldwide Smartphone market share to 52 per cent from 46.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2012. Samsung ended the year in the number one position, in both worldwide Smartphone sales and overall mobile phone sales.
Tough economic conditions, shifting consumer preferences and intense market competition weakened the worldwide mobile phone market last year.