By Aldo Panessidi
For all the sales records being set by some smartphone manufacturers, total worldwide sales dropped by 2% since the same time period last year. Only 419.1 million units sold in the Q1 2012 versus 427.8 million in Q1 2011. This is the first time since the second quarter of 2009 that the market has shown a decline.
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According to Gartner Inc., lack of new product launches and users delaying their upgrades in Asia/Pacific countries are the top reasons for the drop. The first quarter is usually the strongest quarter for Asia due to its Chinese New Year. There should be some recovery coming as users in Asia look for better smartphone deals to arrive later in the year.
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Android accounted for more than half of all smartphone sales, with a 56.1% market share in the first quarter of 2012. Apple’s iOS has second place with an increase from 16.9% in 2011 to 22.9%.
Samsung became the world’s top mobile handset vendor during the quarter. It took the top spot from Nokia which had been No. 1 since 1998. Samsung’s mobile phone sales reached 86.6 million units, a 25.9% increase from last year. Samsung took back the world’s No. 1 smartphone position from Apple, selling 38 million smartphones worldwide. Samsung’s Android-based smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2012 represented more than 40 percent of Android-based smartphone sales worldwide; no other vendors achieved more than a 10 percent share of the market.