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Global mobile phone market shrinks in Q2

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

According to technology research firm Gartner Inc., a total of 419 million handset units 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 Inc.’s iPhone 5, which is expected to roll out around September, said the company.

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

Samsung, who took over from Finnish Nokia Corp. 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 showed. The Korean company’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, drove the brisk sales, as its sales reached 10 million in just two months.

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

Gartner said that Samsung and Apple will control nearly half of the world handset market on the back of strong sales of their smartphone models. (Yonhap News)
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