In a report issued just minutes ago, research firm Gartner says that worldwide sales of mobile phones declined 2.3 percent in the second quarter of 2012, and continues to do so, because of the iPhone 5.
How can an unreleased (and basically unconfirmed and inexistent) product cause this disruption? Easy, says Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner
"Demand slowed further in the second quarter of 2012," said Gupta. "The challenging economic environment and users postponing upgrades to take advantage of high-profile device launches and promotions available later in the year slowed demand across markets.”
He added that demand of feature phones continues to decline, which is further weakening the mobile phone market.
"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," Mr. Gupta said.
Even consumer demand for the Apple iPhone weakened in the second quarter of 2012 as sales fell 12.6 percent from the first quarter, but grew 47.4 percent year on year, Gartner reports.
The research firm believes Apple is in for another weaker-than-usual quarter in the third quarter of 2012, depending on the exact launch date of the iPhone 5, which is rumored to come out this September.
The firm strongly believes Apple is capable of taking advantage of “the strong holiday sales in North America and Western Europe that have historically remained immune to economic pressure.”
“The arrival of the iPhone 5 should provide the greatest upgrade opportunity yet as the expected new design with a larger screen and likely other stylistic changes to the form factor will certainly make a strong case for iPhone 4 users to upgrade,” Gartner analysts said.