Smartphone sales rocket 47% in third quarter 2012

Gartner figures show smartphone sales jumped nearly 47% in Q3 2012, but overall mobile shipments fell as feature phone sales dropped off

Smartphone sales have risen by almost 47% in the third quarter of 2012, but the rise has not saved the overall market figures.

The weak demand for traditional feature phones has led to a 3% sales decline in the mobile market, according to a report from Gartner.

Gartner blamed the slowdown on mobile devices such as tablets hitting the market. With the current economic climate, consumers were being more cautious with their money and in turn more likely to invest in one or the other, rather than buying both a phone and tablet.

However, sales figures from mobile vendors showed there was little to be concerned about.

Samsung continued to lead the pack, selling almost 98 million in the third quarter alone, up by over 15 million from the same quarter in 2011 and translating to a market share of 22.9%.

Best selling mobile vendors in Q3 (by units sold)

  • Samsung - 97.9 million
  • Nokia - 82.3 million
  • Apple - 23.5 million
  • ZTE - 16.6 million
  • LG - 13.9 million

Second place went to Nokia, but although it managed to retain a significant market share of 19.2% from its 82.3 million handset sales, the figure was significantly down year-on-year, as sales had been over 105 million in the third quarter of 2011.

Apple took the third spot, growing market share steadily from 3.9% last year from just over 17 million sales to 5.5% for the third quarter of 2012 with 23.5 million shipments.

The biggest loser was LG with sales dropping year-on-year from 21 million to 14 million, resulting in a market share loss from 4.8% to 3.3%.

Best selling mobile operating systems in Q3 (by units sold)

  • Android - 122.5m
  • iOS - 23.5 million
  • Research in Motion - 8.9 million
  • Bada - 5 million
  • Symbian 4.4 million
  • Microsoft - 4 million

RIM, HTC and Motorola also showed falls in sales figures compared to 2011, falling from 12.7 million, 12.1 million and 11 million to 8.95 million, 8.4 million and 8.5 million respectively.

Android remained the strongest selling mobile operating system, taking a remarkable 72.4% market share on 122.5 million devices sold in the third quarter of 2012.  

Microsoft and Bada managed to raise their profiles slightly, with the Windows Phone OS being sold on over 4 million devices in the three months and Bada selling on over 5 million handsets. However, every other company lost market share, with Nokia’s Symbian OS plummeting from 16.9% on 19.5 million handsets in the third quarter of 2011 to 2.6% market share and sales of just 4.4 million.

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