Gartner: Worldwide handset sales fell 1.7% in 2012

Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totalled 1.75 billion units in 2012, a 1.7 percent decline from 2011 sales, according to a new study from Gartner. Despite this drop-off, Huawei managed to claw its way to No. 3 spot in the worldwide smartphone sales ranking, but Apple and Samsung Electronics increased their share to control 52 per cent of global smartphone sales. Meanwhile, Gartner found that demand for feature phones remained weak in 2012 and in the fourth quarter. Feature phone sales totaled 264.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, down 19.3 per cent year-over-year. Gartner expect feature phones sales to continue to fall in 2013. "The last time the worldwide mobile phone market declined was in 2009," said Gartner's principal research analyst, Anshul Gupta. "Tough economic conditions, shifting consumer preferences and intense market competition weakened the worldwide mobile phone market this year." Release

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