Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

For First Time Since 2009, Global Cell Phone Sales Drop

By - Source: Gartner | B 14 comments

Sales reached 1.75 billion in 2012, a 1.7 percent decrease from 2011.

Research firm Gartner has revealed that, for the first time since 2009, global cell phone sales dropped during 2012.

Its latest report cited that difficult economic conditions, shifting consumer interest and intense market competition resulted in a worldwide drop in sales last year, which has not declined since 2009.

Worldwide sales of mobile phones reached 1.75 billion during 2012, a 1.7 percent decrease from 2011. During Q4, though, smartphone sales stood at a record 207.7 million units, representing a 38.3 percent increase from 2011. In 2012 as a whole, 700 million smartphones were shipped.

Demand for feature phones, meanwhile, remained weak, with sales totalling 264.4 million units in the fourth quarter, a drop of 19.3 percent year-over-year. Gartner expects worldwide sales of smartphones to spearhead the overall market in 2013 by reaching close to 1 billion units, while total mobile phone sales are estimated to reach 1.9 billion this year. Feature phone sales are expected to continue their sales decline.

In addition to accounting for 103 percent of 2012's handset profits (which is possible because of the consecutive quarterly losses of other firms), Apple and Samsung accounted for a combined market share of 52 percent in Q4, an increase from 46.4 percent in 2011. The South Korean company was the market leader for both worldwide and U.S. smartphone sales as well as overall mobile phone sales.

During 2012, Samsung sold 384.6 million mobile phones, of which 53.5 percent were smartphones. Comparatively, Apple sold 130 million iPhone units.

 

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the News comments forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    twelve25 , February 14, 2013 6:13 AM
    They are cranking out literally a BILLION phones a year now. Certainly the market has to saturate at some point.
  • 11 Hide
    ojas , February 14, 2013 8:39 AM
    OH NO SMARTPHONES ARE DEAD! THE POST SMARTPHONE ERA IS UPON US!
  • 10 Hide
    twelve25 , February 14, 2013 6:29 AM
    m32Makes you wonder where all the batteries (for phones that are obsolete) are at?


    They are supposed to get recycled, but I'd bet half just get tossed into the dump. We'll be drinking traces of them before long.
Other Comments
    Display all 14 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    apache_lives , February 14, 2013 6:05 AM
    im waiting for my contract to end to get a Windows 8 phone :D 
  • 15 Hide
    twelve25 , February 14, 2013 6:13 AM
    They are cranking out literally a BILLION phones a year now. Certainly the market has to saturate at some point.
  • 9 Hide
    m32 , February 14, 2013 6:19 AM
    Makes you wonder where all the batteries (for phones that are obsolete) are at?
  • 10 Hide
    twelve25 , February 14, 2013 6:29 AM
    m32Makes you wonder where all the batteries (for phones that are obsolete) are at?


    They are supposed to get recycled, but I'd bet half just get tossed into the dump. We'll be drinking traces of them before long.
  • 3 Hide
    stickmansam , February 14, 2013 7:24 AM
    Why would market competition decrease shipments?

    there are only so many people who need phones and we all don't upgrade very year...
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , February 14, 2013 7:28 AM
    "Why would market competition decrease shipments?"

    Paradox of choice. Given a choice between two or three types of a good, people will gladly pick something, but given a choice between hundreds of types of a good with conflicting and confusing features, people either buy randomly or won't buy at all.
  • 11 Hide
    ojas , February 14, 2013 8:39 AM
    OH NO SMARTPHONES ARE DEAD! THE POST SMARTPHONE ERA IS UPON US!
  • 0 Hide
    devBunny , February 14, 2013 9:51 AM
    Xperia dont h8 the cabbage"Why would market competition decrease shipments?"Paradox of choice. Given a choice between two or three types of a good, people will gladly pick something, but given a choice between hundreds of types of a good with conflicting and confusing features, people either buy randomly or won't buy at all.


    And then there are the obsessive/compulsives who will buy, eventually, it's just that by the time they've sorted out all the features and made up the short lists, there's a bunch of new versions to be factored out. ;o)
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , February 14, 2013 11:40 AM
    Of course it's settling down, EVERYONE HAS A PHONE ALREADY.

    Just like where the desktop PC was in the mid 00's, the cell phone market is now at that stage where they have to cater to people that already have a phone.
  • 4 Hide
    virtualban , February 14, 2013 12:25 PM
    ojasOH NO SMARTPHONES ARE DEAD! THE POST SMARTPHONE ERA IS UPON US!

    Excellent call, hahaha
  • -1 Hide
    jacobdrj , February 14, 2013 2:41 PM
    virtualbanExcellent call, hahaha

    It is! The era of the phablet is in full force!
  • 1 Hide
    velocityg4 , February 14, 2013 2:47 PM
    Twelve25They are supposed to get recycled, but I'd bet half just get tossed into the dump. We'll be drinking traces of them before long.

    I'd bet that figure is closer to 95%. The only way batteries or electronics will get recycled is if we can just toss them in our recycling container. Very few people are willing to drive to some special place for recycling and pay when they get there.

    Heck the gas I would use on a forty five plus minute round trip would probably cause more harm to the global environment then tossing the cell phone battery. Right now I have five busted computers, two CRT TVs and other miscellaneous electronics that I have no idea what to do with. I'm not about to spend $20 to $30 a pop to recycle them. Nor do I want to send them off to a landfill so they just sit around taking up space. I also have a bunch of old lithium batteries.
  • 1 Hide
    captaincharisma , February 14, 2013 2:52 PM
    i guess people just got tired of being roped into 3 year contracts
  • 0 Hide
    ipwn3r456 , February 15, 2013 1:29 AM
    Of course this will happen. Like everyone said above, everyone already have a phone. Not everyone is going to buy a phone every single year.