Gartner – Worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users reached almost 428 million units in the third quarter of 2012, a 3.1 percent decline from the third quarter of 2011, according to Gartner, Inc. Smartphone sales accounted for 39.6 percent of total mobile phone sales, as smartphone sales increased 46.9 percent from the third quarter of 2011.
While the mobile phone market declined year-on-year, Gartner analysts said there were positive signs for the industry during the third quarter.
“After two consecutive quarter of decline in mobile phone sales, demand has improved in both mature and emerging markets as sales increased sequentially,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. “In China, sales of mobile phones grew driven by sales of smartphones, while demand of feature phones remained weak. In mature markets, we finally saw replacement sales pick up with the launch of new devices in the quarter.”
ZTE remained in forth position with a 3.9% share (16.7 million units). And while it has managed to remain in the top five, LG saw both a drop in both market share and actual sales numbers. These were nearly halved to 14 million units, for a 3.3% share (versus 4.8% last year). Chinese handset makers Huawei and TCL are the ones to watch in the quarters ahead.
Gartner doesn’t break out a list of how individual vendors are faring in the smartphone-only segment, although it does give several details in the report. Samsung has solidified even further its position as the smartphone maker to beat at the moment, accounting for 32.5% of all smartphone sales in the quarter, compared to just under 30% in Q2.