Although worldwide phone sales decreased during the third quarter of 2012, sales of smartphones are continuing to rise, with Android spearheading the competitive market. More than 427 million phones were sold in the period, representing a decrease of 3 percent when compared to the same quarter a year ago, according to analyst Gartner. It is, however, a slight increase from the 419 million devices shipped during the second quarter.
Smartphone sales are continuing to flourish, though. An accumulative of 169 million smartphones were sold during the quarter, which is a considerable increase of 47 percent year-on-year. The top three vendors for sales during the quarter are Samsung, Apple and Nokia. The latter, though, had its market share slip by over 20 percent when compared to last year. It fell from 23.9 percent in Q3 2011 to 19.2 percent in this year's third quarter. Meanwhile, Apple and Samsung's market share both enjoyed an increase.
Google's Android mobile operating system continues to lead the smartphone market, with 72.4 percent of all smartphones sold in the quarter shipping with Android installed. This represents an increase from 52.5 percent last year. Apple's iOS follows in a distant second place with a 13.9 percent share.
Microsoft's Windows Phone saw its share increase from 1.5 percent in 2011 to 2.4 percent in the current quarter. Surprisingly, Samsung's Bada mobile operating system has passed Symbian's market share with a 3 percent share, an increase from 2.2 percent last year.
"After two consecutive quarter of decline in mobile phone sales, demand has improved in both mature and emerging markets as sales increased sequentially," Gartner principal research analyst Anshul Gupta said. "In China, sales of mobile phones grew driven by sales of smartphones, while demand of feature phones remained weak. In mature markets, we finally saw replacement sales pick up with the launch of new devices in the quarter."