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Mobile phone sales down at start of 2012

Worldwide sales of mobile phones have dropped for the first time in nearly two years, a leading industry analyst has claimed.

The mobile market has been booming in recent years, with the dramatic uptake of smartphones one of the key drivers of the strong sales.

But the latest figures from industry analyst Gartner have revealed that the upward global trend has suffered a hiccup, with mobile sales dropping in the early stages of this year.

The analyst said that sales of mobile phones in the first quarter of 2012 totalled 419.1 million. OK, so that seems like a pretty high figure, but it is actually down by 2% compared to the same time last year.

Global sales down

Anshul Gupta, a principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement:

“Global sales of mobile devices declined more than expected due to a slowdown in demand from the Asia/Pacific region,”

“The first quarter, traditionally the strongest quarter for Asia — which is driven by Chinese New Year, saw a lack of new product launches from leading manufacturers, and users delayed upgrades in the hope of better smartphone deals arriving later in the year.”

But while overall mobile sales might be down, the figures revealed that smartphone sales are still going from strength to strength.

Samsung performing well

In the first quarter of this year, sales of smartphones were up a whopping 44.7% year-on-year, with Android devices accounting for just over 50% of those sales.

“Samsung took back the world’s number one smartphone position from Apple, selling 38 million smartphones worldwide,”

“In addition, Samsung’s Android-based smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2012 represented more than 40 percent of Android-based smartphone sales worldwide; no other vendors achieved more than a 10-percent share of the market.”

So Samsung has had an incredible start to the year, and that was back when the S3 was just the subject of heated discussion. Apple should probably release its next iPhone as quickly as possible.