Mobile sales on the slump

13th February 2013

According to sales figures just published for 2012, mobile sales around the world have fallen when compared with figures from 2011.  This is the first time sales have fallen since 2009.

The study, which was carried out by research company Gartner, showed 1.75 billion handsets were sold in 2012.  Although a massive amount, this marked a 1.7% decline on handsets sold in 2011.

Data seems to suggest that the decline is down to less consumers opting to buy lower-end cheaper devices with limited functions.  In the final quarter of 2012, 264.4 million lower-end devices were sold, a 19.3% drop from the previous year.

Smartphone devices still showed growth meanwhile, with 38.3% growth in the fourth quarter compared to the year before, but still accounted for the minority of mobile sales, and lacked sufficient growth to offset the decline amongst the lower-end handsets.

Gartner predicts that smartphones will now grow to dominate the market in 2013 – with sales expected to reach a total of 1 billion – whilst total mobile sales are expected to reach 1.9 billion units overall.  Sales of lower-end devices are expected to continue to decline.

Korean manufacturer Samsung continues to dominate the mobile phone market selling 384.6 million mobile phones of which 53.5% were their android smartphones such as the Galaxy SII and SIII.  Apple still lag behind their rival with sales of 130 million of their iPhone smartphones worldwide – although showing a growth of 22.6% year-on-year in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, luxury smartphone manufacturer Vertu is about to launch it’s brand new product – costing £7,000.  However, the titanium-clad android phone – with a sapphire screen – will not be able to run on the new 4G spectrum.

The head of design at Vertu – the brilliantly named Hutch Hutchison – says the company is not interested in being technological pioneers, and points out their product isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds.

Apparently sales figures for Vertu have grown year-on-year for the past 10 years.  I guess it’s alright for some…


Robin James