Worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users reached almost 428M units in 3Q12, a 3.1% decline from the year ago quarter but sales did increase on a sequential basis, according to Gartner. Smartphone sales accounted for 39.6% of total mobile phone sales, as smartphone sales increased 46.9% from the third quarter of 2011. Samsung’s (SSNLF) mobile phones sales continued to accelerate, totaling almost 98M units in Q3, up 18.6% year-on-year. Samsung further widened the gap with Apple (AAPL) in the smartphone market, selling 55M smartphones in Q3 and commanding 32.5% of the global smartphone market in the quarter. Apple’s sales to end users totaled 23.6M units in the quarter, up 36.2% year-on-year. Nokia (NOK) slipped from No. 3 in the second quarter of 2012 to No. 7 in smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2012. RIM (RIMM) moved to the No. 3 spot with HTC not far behind, at No. 4. In the smartphone market, Google's (GOO) Android continued to increase its market share, up 19.9% points in the third quarter. With the launch of iPhone 5, Gartner analysts expect iOS share will grow strongly in the fourth quarter of 2012 because users held on to their replacements in many markets ahead of the iPhone 5 wider roll out. Windows Phone’s (MSFT) share weakened year-on-year as the Windows Phone 8 launch dampened demand of Windows Phone 7 devices, Gartner said.
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