According to research giant Gartner, worldwide sales of mobile phones fell by 2% during the first quarter of the year. Just under 420 million handsets were sold in this time, which is 2% down on the same period in 2011.
A number of possible factors are being cited, including a slowdown in demand from Asia alongside a lack of new handsets being launched by the leading manufacturers of handsets. Of the major players, only HTC’s One X and Sony’s Xperia S were released with any fanfare during this time and both being released towards the end of the period.
With high-profile launches from Samsung, with its new Galaxy S3 shipping end May, and possible a sighting of Apple’s new iPhone in June, quarter two expectations are for stronger sales.
These stats also confirmed the news that Samsung has overtaken Nokia as the world’s leading manufacturer of mobile phones. While Samsung has grown its sales by 26% in the last 12 months, Nokia has seen a decline of almost 23%, capping a disastrous 12 months for the Finnish company. The launch of its Lumia 900 earlier this month, its key hope for regaining market share, was lost in amongst the clamour for the Samsung Galaxy S. Despite receiving favourable reviews, it’s difficult to see how this lost ground can be made up and what the next move for Nokia will be.