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Annual mobile phone sales retreat for first time since 2009

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By John Glenday, Reporter

February 14, 2013 | 1 min read

Mobile phone sales have recorded their first annualised dip since 2009 with just 1.75 handsets being picked up over 2012, a 1.7% drop on the equivalent 2011 figure, according to research firm Gartner.

This represents the first contraction since 2009 as consumers increasingly shirk bog-standard handsets in favour of glitzier (and pricier) high-end smartphones.

Unsurprisingly Apple and Samsung continue to dominate this market, flogging 130m and 385m smartphones respectively,a market share of around 52%.

Chinese upstart Huawei came a distant third with 27.2m smartphone sales under its belt for 2012, although this represented an increase of 74%.

Gartner expects smartphones to outstrip so-called feature phones for the first time this year as sales of non-smartphones maintain their steady decline.

Commenting on the findings Gartner principal analyst Anshul Gupta said: “The last time the worldwide mobile phone market declined was in 2009. Tough economic conditions, shifting consumer preferences and intense market competition weakened the worldwide mobile phone market this year.”

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