Rumors surrounding Apple’s next iPhone have reached a fever pitch in the weeks leading up to the expected announcement date, September 12th. With pre-orders rumored to begin on the same day, Apple is expected to see record sales this holiday season. Anticipation for the next iPhone is higher than it’s ever been, and smartphone sales from the past quarter reflect that fact.
Gartner’s results for Q2 show slowed iPhone growth, with Apple sitting behind Samsung and Nokia in worldwide smartphone sales.
“Demand slowed further in the second quarter of 2012,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. “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. Demand of feature phones continued to decline, significantly weakening the overall mobile phone market.”
Overall smartphone sales are on the rise, but the iPhone saw a 12.6% decline when compared with Q1 of 2012. Despite the decline, the iPhone still saw 47.4% year-over-year growth when compared with Q2 2011.
“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.
During Apple’s Q2 earnings call, Tim Cook and Peter Oppenheimer noted that rumors affect iPhone sales. Apple’s thick veil of secrecy creates an incredible amount of hype leading up to a new product announcement. The sixth-gen ‘iPhone 5’ is no exception.
“Samsung and Apple continued to dominate the smartphone market, together taking about half the market share, and widening the gap to other manufacturers. No other smartphone vendors had share close to 10 percent,” noted Gartner. “In the race to be top smartphone manufacturer in 2012, Samsung has consistently increased its lead over Apple, and its open OS market share increased to one-and-a-half times that of Apple in the second quarter of 2012.”
On a global scale, the race to the top is between Apple and Samsung. It will be interesting to see how the outcome of the ongoing patent infringement case between the two companies will affect sales in the future.