Global mobile phone sales declined in 2012; Apple #3

Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totaled 1.75 billion units in 2012, a 1.7 percent decline from 2011 sales, according to Gartner, Inc. Smartphones continued to drive overall mobile phone sales, and the fourth quarter of 2012 saw record smartphone sales of 207.7 million units, up 38.3 percent from the same period last year.

Apple’s number three in overall phone sales, not just smartphone sales, according to Gartner’s figures. Samsung leads with 22.7 percent marketshare – a figure Gartner attributes to Samsung’s strong placement not only in the Android market, where it is far and away the market leader, but also with less expensive feature phones. Nokia trails in second place with 18.0 percent, the lowest it’s ever been, according to Gartner, with demand diminishing 53.6 percent year over year. Apple comes in third at 9.2 percent, with 43.5 million units sold – a 22.7 percent year over year increase.