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Apple iPhone 5 To Boost Mobile Sales in Second Half of 2012

Karen Haslam May 18, 2012
The iPhone 5 will help drive a stronger second half of the year in Western Europe and North America, according to Gartner

Worldwide sales of mobile phones saw a 2 per cent decline from the first quarter of 2011 due to a slowdown in demand from the Asia/Pacific region, but the launch of the Apple iPhone 5 will help drive a stronger second half of the year in Western Europe and North America, according toGartner. The report also notes that Apple's sales in China were "particularly strong" despite people holding of sales in the hope of an iPhone 5. 

As a whole the market saw a decline, notes the Gartner report: "Worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users reached 419.1 million units in the first quarter of 2012, a 2 per cent decline from the first quarter of 2011".

RIM, Nokia, Motorola, LG, and HTC all saw their share of the market shrink when compared to the first quarter of 2011. "Global sales of mobile devices declined more than expected due to a slowdown in demand from the Asia/Pacific region," said Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta.

"The first quarter, traditionally the strongest quarter for Asia - which is driven by Chinese New Year, saw a lack of new product launches from leading manufacturers, and users delayed upgrades in the hope of better smartphone deals arriving later in the year," added Gupta.

In contrast, "driven by the continued success of the iPhone 4S, Apple's sales grew 96.2% in the first quarter of 2012 as the new model expanded into new markets and carriers. Sales in China were particularly strong this quarter. With more than 5 million units, China became the second-largest market for Apple after the US," notes the Gartner report.

The drop in sales was partly a result of the downturn in Asian markets. "We were not expecting a slowdown in Asia," Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta said in a statement. "China is usually a particularly big market in the first quarter, with the Chinese New Year normally leading to a sales boom. But this year consumers have held off upgrading, waiting for other high end devices, like the new Apple iPhone."

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