Gartner: Global cell phone sales fell in 2012
Cell phone sales fell last year for the first time since 2009, according to new numbers released by Gartner.
The research firm latest figures suggest that difficult economic conditions dampened consumer appetites and drove sales down 1.7 percent in 2012.
Sales amounted to 1.75 billion units, meaning that one out of every four people on the planet bought a new cell phone last year.
A competing research firm, IDC, last month said that sales actually grew at 1.2 percent last year.
The firms agree that smartphone sales grew quickly, while non-smartphone sales declined by a roughly equal number.
Samsung Electronics of Korea is the world's largest maker of phones, followed by Finland's Nokia Corp. and Apple Inc. of the US, according to both research firms.
Gartner expects worldwide sales of smartphones to dominate the overall market in 2013 — reaching close to one billion units — whereas total cell phone sales are predicted to reach 1.9 billion units this year. Non-smartphone sales are expected to continue to slide.
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