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Smartphone sales 47% up, Samsung No1, Apple falls back

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Staff writer |
Mobile phonesWorldwide sales of mobile phones reached almost 428 million units in the third quarter of 2012 with smartphone sales accounted for 39.6 percent. Smartphone sales increased 46.9 percent from Q3 last year with Samsung leading the race.

The overall sales declineed 3.1 percent decline from Q3 2011, according to Gartner, it's obvious that users like smartphones very much. Samsung’s mobile phones sales continued to accelerate, totaling almost 98 million units in Q3 2012, up 18.6 percent year-on-year. The company saw strong demand for Galaxy smartphones across different price points, and it further widened the gap with Apple in the smartphone market, selling 55 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2012. It commanded 32.5 percent of the global smartphone market in the third quarter of 2012.

Nokia AshaNokia's mobile phone sales declined 21.9 percent in Q3 2012, but overall sales at 82.3 million were better than Gartner’s early estimate, largely driven by increased sales of the Asha full touch range. Nokia had a particularly bad quarter with smartphone sales, and it tumbled to the No. 7 worldwide position with 7.2 million smartphones sold in the third quarter. The arrival of the new Lumia devices on Windows 8 should help to halt the decline in share in the fourth quarter of 2012, although it won’t be until 2013 to see a significant improvement in Nokia’s position.

Apple iPhoneApple's sales to end users totaled 23.6 million units in the third quarter of 2012, up 36.2 percent year-on-year. With iPhone 5 launching in more territories in the fourth quarter of 2012, including China, and the upcoming holiday season Gartner analysts expect Apple will have its traditionally strongest quarter.

In the smartphone market, Android continued to increase its market share, up 19.9 percentage points in Q3 2012. Although RIM lost market share, it climbed to the No. 3 position as Symbian is nearing the end of its lifecycle. There was also channel destocking in preparation of new device launches for RIM, which resulted into 8.9 million sales to end users in Q3 2012. With the launch of iPhone 5, Gartner analysts expect iOS share will grow strongly in the fourth quarter of 2012 because users held on to their replacements in many markets ahead of the iPhone 5 wider roll out. Windows Phone’s share weakened year-on-year as the Windows Phone 8 launch dampened demand of Windows Phone 7 devices.

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