Mobile phone sales slightly decline

Although it seems impossible to comprehend, the mobile phone market has shrunk slightly compared to last year.

Research firm Gartner says that global sales of mobile phones declined 2.3% in the second quarter of the year compared to 2011.

The group cited a “challenging economic environment” for the decrease in sales. But it also pointed out that hype for Apple’s new iPhone, which is expected to be revealed within the next month, halted many consumers from buying a new phone over the last several weeks.

Even so, Gartner predicted that Apple might see a weaker than expected third quarter. It all depends on when that mystical iPhone 5 is revealed, and when it actually hits store shelves.

Even though the second quarter wasn’t what most mobile companies hoped for, it wasn’t all bad news. Samsung ended up being the big winner. Its market share jumped by 5.3 percentage points compared to this time last year.

It was mainly thanks to the Galaxy S III, which was the new, sexy smartphone that people flocked to in the second quarter.

But its wish to have that market share taken from Apple wasn’t fully realized, as Apple also saw an increase in market share, jumping 2.3 percentage points.

The big loser was Nokia, with Motorola, LG, HTC, and RIM all seeing market share decreases as well.

The rest of the year potentially looks more promising. Gartner has previously estimated a total volume of 1.9 billion mobile phone sales in 2012.