A new report from Gartner has shown that global mobile phone sales dropped in 2012 – the first decline in 3 years.
According to Gartner, worldwide mobile sales totalled 1.75 billion units in 2012 – down 1.7% from total sales in 2011.
Even so, the fourth quarter of the year (2012) saw a record figure of 207.7 million units sold – up 38.3% from the same period in 2011.
The last time the worldwide mobile phone market declined was in 2009, according to Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.
“Tough economic conditions, shifting consumer preferences and intense market competition weakened the worldwide mobile phone market this year,” he said.
Demand for feature phones was weak (declining 19.3% year on year), with Gartner expecting to see the trend continue into 2013.
Looking at 2013, Gartner is more bullish, expecting smartphone sales to hit 1 billion units, and overall mobile phone sales to top 1.9 billion by year-end.
Apple vs Samsung continues
“The success of Apple and Samsung is based on the strength of their brands as much as their actual products. Their direct competitors, including those with comparable products, struggle to achieve the same brand appreciation among consumers, who, in a tough economic environment, go for cheaper products over brand,” Gupta said.
Samsung ended the year in the number 1 position, in both worldwide smartphone sales and overall mobile phone sales.
Nokia, although maintaining second position in overall mobile units sold, saw a 53.6% decline in year-on-year sales.
“Nokia needs to build on momentum around Asha in 2013 by adding devices and apps to further enhance its overall value proposition and, in doing so, moving up the price point slightly to achieve better margins breaching the gap left by Symbian,” Gartner said
Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales by Vendor – 4Q12 (Thousands of Units)
||4Q12 Market share (%)
||4Q11 Units||4Q11 Market share (%)|
Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales by Vendor – 2012 (Thousands of Units)
|Vendor||2012 Units||2012 Market share (%)||2011 Units||2011 Market share (%)|
|BlackBerry (Prev. RIM)||34,210.3||2.0||51,541.9||2.9|
While Android grew its fourth quarter market share, BlackBerry declined 44.4% in the same period.
“2013 will be the year of the rise of the third ecosystem as the battle between the new BlackBerry 10 and Widows Phone intensifies,” Gupta said.
“As carriers and vendors feel the pressure of the strong Android’s growth, alternative operating systems such as Tizen, Firefox, Ubuntu and Jolla will try and carve out an opportunity by positioning themselves as profitable alternatives.”
Worldwide Smartphone Sales by Operating System – 4Q12 (Thousands of Units)
||4Q12 Units||4Q12 Market share (%)||4Q11 Unit||4Q11 Market share (%)|
|BlackBerry (Prev. RIM)||7,333.0||3.5||13,184.5||8.8|