Mobile sales drop for the first time in two years

According to the latest figures from Gartner, retail sales of mobile phones have dropped for the first time in almost two years.

Sales for the first quarter of 2012 totalled 419.1 million units, down two percent year-on-year.

Now the analysts think they will have to adjust their forecasts for the whole of 2012 down by around 20 million units.

Smartphones are doing well, it is just that no one seems to want to buy a phone to send SMS messages or call people any more.

At the moment the best place to try to sell a mobile is China and this period is normally strong for sales because of the Chinese New Year.

Gartner’s figures make Samsung the top handset vendor, selling 86.6 million devices and overtaking Nokia which was at 83.2 million.

Smartphone sales up 44.7 percent year-on-year, with Android-based phones accounted for 56.1 percent of all smartphone sales during the quarter.

But the percentage of smartphones to ordinary phones is still small. Samsung was the number one seller of smartphones but it only sold 38 million worldwide which compared to 419.1 million mobile units in total.

Nokia’s sales slid 22.7 percent year-on-year. But 44 percent of Samsung’s sales were higher earning smartphones, while the devices accounted for just 16 percent of Nokia’s sales.