Wed, Aug 15, 2012 - Page 14 News List

World’s cellphone market declines 2.3 percent in Q2: Gartner

DOWN, UP:Taiwan’s HTC sold 15.57 percent fewer mobile phone units quarter-on-quarter, while South Korean rival Samsung mobile phone sales skyrocketed by 29.51 percent

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

The world’s mobile phone market fell 2.3 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, after declining 2 percent in the first quarter, with LG Electronics Inc and Research In Motion Ltd (RIM) leading the decline, while Samsung Electronics Co widened its lead over rivals, according to a Gartner Inc report released yesterday.

The latest Gartner report also showed Taiwan’s HTC Corp (宏達電) sold 15.57 percent fewer mobile phones in the second quarter from the first quarter amid negative macroeconomic conditions and still-intensifying market competition.

With sales of 9.3 million phones in the second quarter, the Taiwanese company saw its global market share rise to 2.2 percent from 1.8 percent in the first quarter, while its world ranking fell to No. 8 from No. 7, the research firm said.

LG Electronics reported the largest quarterly decline in sales of mobile phones to end users, selling 14.35 million phones in the second quarter, a decline of 41.26 percent from a year earlier and down 2.51 percent from the previous quarter.

The South Korean company’s global market share shrank to 3.4 percent from 3.5 percent in the first quarter, Gartner’s report showed.

Struggling BlackBerry maker RIM also sold far fewer phones than it expected for the quarter.

The report showed the Canadian company sold 7.99 million units in the second quarter, 36.84 percent less than it sold in the same period last year and 19.62 percent less than it sold in the first quarter, with its market share narrowing to 1.9 percent from 2.4 percent in the first quarter.

However, Samsung not only maintained its No. 1 phone brand status in the second quarter, but also widened its lead over rivals Apple Inc and Nokia Corp.

In the April-to-June period, Samsung saw its handset sales increase 29.51 percent from the same period last year and 4.46 percent from the previous quarter to 90.43 million units, with market share rising to 21.6 percent from 20.7 percent in the first quarter, Gartner said.

The researcher said Samsung’s growth in the second quarter was driven by record sales of its Galaxy smartphones, adding that smartphones now account for 50.4 percent of all Samsung mobile devices, or 45.6 million units.

Nokia stayed put in second place during the second quarter, with sales of 83.42 million units, down 14.76 percent year-on-year, but up 0.31 percent quarter-on-quarter. The Finnish company saw its market share little changed at 19.9 percent in the quarter, the report showed.

Apple Inc came third, with sales of 28.94 million units and a market share of 6.9 percent. While the US company’s phone sales jumped 47.71 percent from a year earlier, the figure was 12.64 percent lower than its first-quarter level, the report showed.

Gartner said Apple might experience another weaker-than-usual quarter in the third quarter, as consumers wait for the new iPhone.

Overall, worldwide mobile phones sales totaled 419.01 million units in the second quarter, compared with 428.66 million units last year and 419.11 million units in the first quarter. Smartphone sales accounted for 36.7 percent of total phone sales and grew 42.7 percent in the second quarter, the report said.

“Demand slowed further in the second quarter of 2012,” Anshul Gupta, a principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. “Demand of feature phones continued to decline, significantly weakening the overall mobile phone market.”

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