Mobile phone sales decline slightly.

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For the first time since 2009, the sales of mobile phones declined in 2012 to 1.75 bn units. A much cited study by Gartner Research gives numbers, reasons, and an outlook.
 
In the last quarter of 2012, the market was driven by smart phones, up 38,3 percent to 207 mn units sold, while the sales of the more simple feature phones declined by 19.3 percent to 264.4 mn units. The manufacturers who led in market share over the past year were Samsung (22.0%), followed by Nokia (19.1%), and Apple (7.5%). Android extended its position as the dominating operating system by more than 15%. It now runs the vast majority of smart phones (69.7%) sold in the last quarter of 2012 with Apple coming up a distant second with 20.9%. Gartner optimistically estimates that in 2013 about 1.9 bn mobile phones will be sold with the share of smart phones strongly gaining to win over 50% of the market.
 
Given a world population of around 7 bn people the numbers are staggering. If predictions prove correct close to every second human being on this earth will buy a new mobile phone within these two years. Of course, product cycles are fast and many consumers still have to trade up to a smart phone. However, this small dip may also be the first sign of the coming end to the seemingly eternal growth of the telecommunications industries. A second indicator pointing in this direction are the disappointing results of auctions for spectral frequencies. The British regulator just got one billion pounds less than expected.