Global cellphone sales drop in 2012, suggests study

  • Global sales of cellphones dropped in 2012 compared with the previous year, according to a study carried out by research company Gartner.

    It said 1.75 billion handsets had been bought, signifying a 1.7 percent decline.

    According to the firm, "tough economic conditions" were partly responsible for the decline.

    The release of the report follows official data from Spain indicating the number of cellphone and datacard subscriptions fell by 5 percent over the same period in the country.

    Gartner's report also suggests a decrease in demand for lower-end devices led to the drop. In the final three months of the year, 264.4 million such devices had been sold, 19.3 percent fewer than over the same period last year.

    Meanwhile, smartphones, which had seen a 38.3 percent year-on-year gain over the fourth quarter, were still in the minority with 207.7 million units sold, the study said.