Global mobile phone sales fell by 1.7% in 2012,
hit by a faltering global recovery and in the non-smartphone sector, a lower
tendency to replace existing phones coupled with more undocumented knock-offs.
Gartner, the US ICT research firm, said Wednesday
that end user sales totaled 1.75bn units in 2012, a 1.7% decline from 2011
sales, and in fourth-quarter 2012 higher-margin smartphone sales reached 207.7m
units up 38.3% from the same period last year.
In the fourth quarter of 2012, South
Korea's Samsung’s overall smartphone sales continued to accelerate
totaling 64.5m units, up 85.3% from the fourth quarter of 2011. In 2012, Samsung
totaled 384.6m mobile phones sales, of which 53.5% (up
from 28% in 2011) were smartphone sales.
Apple’s sales reached 43.5m units in the
fourth quarter of 2012, up 22.6% year-on-year. In 2012, Apple totaled 130m
smartphone sales worldwide.
The two rivals had a combined market share of 52%
in the fourth quarter, up from 46.4% in the third quarter of 2012.
Gartner expects sales of worldwide smartphone
sales to end users to be close to 1bn units in 2013, while it estimates overall
mobile phone sales to end users to reach 1.9bn units.
"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," Anshul Gupta, analyst at Gartner, said.
Apple's iPhone 5 v Samsung's Galaxy S3
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