iPhone Demand Dips as Apple Readies New Model Launch

Market research firm Gartner says worldwide mobile phone sales dropped 2.3 percent year-over-year to 419 million units in the second quarter of 2012, noting a "challenging economic environment" and postponed upgrades as the main reasons for the drop in demand. In terms of the latter, Apple was hit especially hard as mobile users anticipate the launch of the iPhone 5 in another month or so.

"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 Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Apple iPhone 4S

In the meantime, Apple iPhone sales dipped 12.6 percent from the first quarter of 2012, though overall sales are up 47.4 percent compared to last year. Depending on when exactly the iPhone 5 launches, Gartner says its' very possible Apple will record a weaker-than-usual third quarter.

The smartphone market at large continues to be dominated by Android and, in particularly, Samsung, which has grown its share of the market to 21.6 percent, up from 16.3 percent a year ago. Nokia is in second place with a 19.9 percent share (down from 22.8 percent a year ago), and Apple sits in a distant third with a 6.9 percent share of the smartphone market, up from 4.6 percent in 2011.

Breaking it down by OS, it's basically Android (64.1 percent) and all others. Apple's iOS platform sits in second place, but trails Android by a large margin with an 18.8 percent share of the market.