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Mobile mania wanes but smartphones shine

Calcutta, Nov. 14: Mobile phone sales declined 3.1 per cent globally on a yearly basis during the third quarter of 2012 to 428 million units, but demand for smartphones remained robust.

According to research firm Gartner, smartphone sales surged 47 per cent from the third quarter of 2011 and accounted for 39.6 per cent of total mobile sales.

Analysts said the sales of handsets rose on a sequential basis.

“After two consecutive quarters of decline in sales, demand has improved in both mature and emerging markets as sales increased sequentially. In China, sales were driven by smartphones, while the demand for feature phones remained weak. In mature markets, we finally saw replacement sales picking up with the launch of devices in the quarter,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Smartphone sales stood at 169.2 million units during the period, dominated by players such as Apple and Samsung. Together they controlled 46.5 per cent of the market. Nokia slipped to the seventh slot from the third position it had occupied in the second quarter. Research in Motion moved into the third slot followed by HTC.

Nokia’s mobile sales, which declined 21.9 per cent to 82.3 million units, beat Gartner’s forecast helped by the demand for Asha touch phones.

“Both RIM and HTC have seen their sales declining in the past few quarters and the challenges may prevent them from holding on to their current rankings in the coming quarters,” Gupta said.

The fourth-quarter numbers may miss the festive boost given the cautious spending mood among consumers and their penchant for tablets, Gartner said.

Samsung sold 98 million units during the quarter, an increase of 18.6 per cent year-on-year, helped by the demand for Galaxy smartphones. Apple sold 55 million units, commanding a 32.5 per cent share in the global smartphone market.

 
 
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