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Samsung increases mobile dominance as Nokia, LG, RIM decline: Gartner

Samsung and Apple increased their share of the mobile device market amid declines by Nokia, LG and Research in Motion, according to a Gartner report on global mobile sales in Q2 2012.

Economic woes and anticipation for future devices resulted in overall mobile sales declining 2.3 per cent year-over-year to 419 million units, Gartner said.

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In Q2 2012, Samsung had 21.6 per cent share and led mobile vendors. It had just 16.3 per cent share in the same quarter last year. Samsung's growth "was driven by record sales of Galaxy smartphones, meaning smartphones now account for 50.4 percent of all Samsung mobile devices," Gartner said. Sales of the Galaxy S3 exceeded Samsung's own expectations and could have been higher if not for product shortages, the research organisation said.

Apple accounted for 6.9 per cent of the market in Q2 2012 after representing 4.6 per cent one year ago. The quarter was weak compared to Q1 2012, and Apple could experience a weak Q3 unless it quickly releases a new iPhone, Gartner said.

Nokia maintained the number two position with 19.9 per cent share, buoyed mainly by its non-smartphone sales. However, that was a drop from Q2 2011 when it had 22.8 per cent share. "Nokia's Lumia devices continue to struggle to find a place in consumers' minds as a replacement for Android," Gartner said.

Beleaguered BlackBerry maker RIM had just 1.9 per cent share of mobile sales in Q2 2012, compared to 3 per cent in the same quarter last year. LG's share also took a spill to 3.4 per cent from 5.7 per cent.

Smartphones accounted for a larger portion of mobile sales than in Q2 2011, Gartner said. Smartphones represented 36.7 per cent of devices sold, which was 42.7 per cent more than the previous year.

The Android OS continued to dominate mobile sales, installed in 64.1 percent of the mobile devices sold, Gartner said. That's up from 43.4 per cent in Q2 2011. Apple's iOS was second with 18.8 per cent, followed by Symbian with 5.9 per cent and BlackBerry with 5.2 per cent.

"The challenging economic environment and users postponing upgrades to take advantage of high-profile device launches and promotions available later in the year slowed demand across markets," said Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta. "Demand of feature phones continued to decline, significantly weakening the overall mobile phone market."

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