Worldwide mobile phone sales have been declined by 1.7% from 2011 to 2012. However, there was a record sale of smartphones in the Q4 2012, i.e. the sale of 207.7 million units, which is up 38.3% from the same period in the same quarter last year.
“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.”
About 52% of the worldwide smartphone market is in the hands of Apple and Samsung. It is up from 46.4% from Q3 2012. Overall, Samsung is at No. 1 position in the global smartphone sales and the overall mobile phone sales.
“There is no manufacturer that can firmly lay claim to the No. 3 spot in global smartphone sales,” said Mr. Gupta. “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.”
Huawei reached the No. 3 in the list of global smartphone sales. Last year, Huawei sold 27.2 million smartphones to the end users that showed 73.8% increase from the year 2011.
In the smartphone operating system (OS) market, Android saw 87.8 growth in the Q4 2012 and caught more than 50% of the market. iOS is at second position. RIM saw 44.4% decline while Microsoft experienced better Q4.
“2013 will be the year of the rise of the third ecosystem as the battle between the new BlackBerry10 and Widows Phone intensifies,” said Mr. Gupta. “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.”