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Cell Phone Sales Drop for First Time in 3 Years

Sales of limited function phones fell, while smartphones surged


Smartphone and GlobeAccording to mobile industry research firm Gartner, worldwide cell phone sales declined last year.

Global cell phone sales dipped ot 1.75 billion units in 2012, down 1.7% from the previous year, marking the first annual decline since 2009, ZDNet noted. Gartner attributed last year’s decline in cell phone sales to a challenging global economic environment.

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Smartphones saw their fourth-quarter sales jump 38.3% over the previous year, but still represent a minority of worldwide cell phone sales at just 202.7 million units sold during the year.

Low-priced limited function cell phones, which represent the overwhelming majority of phones sold, saw the largest sales drop. In the fourth quarter, limited function phones saw their sales plunge to 264.4 million units, down 19.3% from the prior year.

Smartphone sales continue to be dominated by phones running Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system and Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone. During the fourth quarter, Android phones accounted for 69.7% of all smartphones worldwide, compared to 20.9% for the iPhone, a slight decline for the iPhone.

Taken together, Apple and Android phone maker Samsung, accounted for 52% of the smartphone market.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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