Mobile phone sales down despite smartphone demand

Thursday 14 February 2013

Mobile phone sales fell during 2012, despite the growing popularity of smartphones, it has been claimed.

According to a Gartner report, global mobile phone sales fell to 1.75 billion units in 2012, down 1.7 per cent on the previous year.

This was despite record smartphone sales of 207.7 million units in the fourth quarter of the year, up 38.3 per cent on the equivalent period in 2011.

Gartner said demand for feature phones remained weak in 2012 and in the fourth quarter.

Feature phone sales totalled 264.4 million units between October and December, down 19.3 per cent year-on-year.

The firm expects feature phones sales to continue to fall in 2013.

"The last time the worldwide mobile phone market declined was in 2009,” said 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."

Gartner predicts sales of worldwide smartphone sales to end users will be close to one billion units in 2013.

Overall mobile phone sales to end users are estimated to reach 1.9 billion units.

Posted by Alex Boardman