The mobile phone industry suffered a rare setback, at least in terms of sales, in the first quarter of 2012. Gartner reports that overall, worldwide sales of mobile phones came in at 419.1 million units. That's a two percent drop compared to the same time period a year ago. Gartner says that's also the first year-to-year sales drop in the industry since the second quarter of 2009.
Gartner said the decline in sales was due to lower than expected demand for devices in Asia and the Pacific. The analyst firm said that the first quarter sales results have made them rethink their projections for sales for the remainder of the year.
Samsung is the number one mobile phone maker with a 20.7 percent market share, followed by Nokia with 19.7 percent and Apple with 7.9 percent.
While mobile phones sales as a whole were down. sales of smartphones were way up in the first quarter. Gartner said that worldwide, 144.4 million smartphone units were sold, a 44.7 percent increase compared to the same period a year ago.
Android was the number one smartphone OS for the quarter with a whopping 56.1 market share. iOS was second with 22.9 percent. Symbian was a distant third with 8.6 percent, followed by Blackberry with 6.9 percent and Bada with 2.7 percent. Microsoft's mobile operating systems came in with just 1.9 percent of the smartphone market share, compared to 2.6 percent for the same period a year ago.