Gartner on 2012: smartphones set new record, but overall mobile sales decline

Gartner on 2012: smartphones set new record, but overall mobile sales declineJust last week I was saying that Apple and Samsung had grabbed more than 100% of 2012’s smartphone profits. More than all of the profit. Insane.

That was according to Cannacord, and not to be outdone, Gartner has fired out its gargantuan annual mobile sales report. As ever, it makes for incredibly interesting reading.

Diving straight into stats and figures, 1.75 billion mobiles were sold in 2012, but while that figure probably sounds quite impressive, it actually represents a 1.7% decrease from 2011. Eek.

Gartner attributes the decline – the first since 2009 – to “Tough economic conditions, shifting consumer preferences and intense market competition”.

There was more positive news for smartphones, however, as Q4 saw a record 207.7 million units sold. That’s a 38.3% increase from Q4 2011. Holy fug.

Looking at Q4 again, Apple and Samsung grabbed more than 50% of the smartphone market (52%, to be precise), while Samsung took first place in both smartphones and mobiles overall.

Huawei crept into third place in smartphones in 2012, with 27.2 million units shifted, marking a 73.8% increase over 2011. Gartner notes that brand awareness will be crucial for Huawei.

Not to put a downer on things, but both Apple and Samsung shifted more smartphones in Q4 alone (43.5 million and 64.5 million respectively) than third place Huawei did in the whole of 2012.

As for smartphone operating systems, Android took 69.7% in Q4, with iOS in second on 20.9%, and RIM’s BlackBerry OS on 3.5%. Windows Phone, despite all the marketing and hype around WP8 alongside new phones from Nokia and HTC (and despite the fact that RIM did next to nothing in 2012), weighed in with just 3% share. Oh dear.

Read more about: AndroidBlackberry OSiOSApple iPhone 4Apple iPhone 4SApple iPhone 5Samsung Galaxy S2Samsung Galaxy S3Windows Phone

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4 comments

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 14, 2013 at 08:47

Considering the huge share of Samsung's various devices, it is amazing how poorly Android fares! Take out the Galaxies, and then look at the hundreds of non-Sammy Android phones...

Pondlife  Feb. 14, 2013 at 13:15

Yeah that roughly 80 million non-samsung android devices is a trifling amount really... oO

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 14, 2013 at 13:43

Yeah that roughly 80 million non-samsung android devices is a trifling amount really... oO

It IS... compared to the combined sales of iPhone 4S/5 and SGS2/3 80 million for dozens and dozens of other devices....

Pondlife  Feb. 14, 2013 at 23:30

Still sounds rather a lot to me, and fares rather well compared to rim, ms, etc

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