In era of smartphones, global handset sales ebb

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In era of smartphones, global handset sales ebb

Global sales of mobile phones declined in the second-quarter from a year ago, but Samsung Electronics continued its strong growth to maintain the top spot, a market researcher said yesterday.

Technology research firm Gartner reports that 419 million handsets were sold in the April-June period, down 2.3 percent from a year earlier.

Consumers sat on the sidelines to postpone new purchases ahead of the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5, which is expected to be rolled out around September, the company said.

The company forecast that the global mobile phone market will continue to shrink due to contracted demand for feature phones.

Samsung, which took over from Finland’s Nokia as the world’s largest phone seller in the first quarter, was on a roll over the three-month period, with 90.43 million units sold worldwide, up 29.5 percent on-year, Gartner said. Samsung’s market share jumped 21.6 percent from 16.3 percent a year ago.

Its latest Galaxy S3 handset, which hit the global market in late May, has driven brisk sales, shifting 10 million units in just two months.

Nokia, the former industry leader, sold 83.42 million mobile phones for a market share of 19.9 percent, while sales of U.S.-based Apple reached 28.93 million units to rank third with a 6.9 percent share.

Gartner said that Samsung and Apple are likely to soon control half of the world handset market on the back of strong sales of their smartphone models. Yonhap
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