The looming promise of Apple's iPhone 5 has caused a massive 12.6 per cent drop in sales of Apple's current iPhone devices during the second quarter of 2012, according to research firm Gartner.
Although the sales were down, the firm's market share is still up on the same period last year, having risen from 4.6 per cent in 2011 to 6.9 per cent in 2012, although this is down from 10.6 per cent in Q1 of 2012.
The drop came alongside a 2.3 per cent decrease in worldwide mobile phone sales for Q2 2012, with Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta cited the looming promise of a new Apple iPhone as a key reason for the sales lull.
"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 Gupta.
Despite the overall lull, smartphone sales did increase by 42.7 per cent year-on-year, now accounting for 36.7 per cent of all mobile phone sales.
Google's Android operating system accounted for 64.1 per cent of the smartphone and tablet market, compared to 18.8 per cent for Apple's iOS during the quarter. This was thanks largely to increased demand for Samsung's Galaxy range of devices, which helped the company enjoy a 29.5 per cent sales increase during the quarter.
High demand for the Samsung's Galaxy S3 smartphone was cited as the main contributing factor to the company's good fortunes. Gartner reported demand for the Galaxy S3 exceeded Samsung's expectations, breaking past the 10 million units sold milestone within two months of release.
Looking to the future, Gupta reported that while the iPhone 5's release will cause a fresh boom in mobile phone sales, it is likely that Samsung will continue to extend its market lead over Apple.
"High-profile smartphone launches from key manufacturers such as the anticipated Apple iPhone 5, along with Chinese manufacturers pushing 3G and preparing for major device launches in the second half of 2012, will drive the smartphone market upward. However, feature phones will continue to see pressure," said Gupta.
"In the race to be top smartphone manufacturer in 2012, Samsung has consistently increased its lead over Apple, and its open OS market share increased to one-and-a-half times that of Apple in the second quarter of 2012."
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