Smartphone sales have fallen for the first time since 2009, a report reveals, as consumers put off buying a new phone until the iPhone 5 arrives.
According to data from number crunchers at Gartner, handset sales slid to 419.1 million during the second quarter. That represents a slide of two per cent, or 20 million units, from the year-ago period.
Gartner attributes the fall to consumer anticipation that the iPhone 5 will drop this year and that it’ll be the major upgrade some had expected with the current-generation Apple handset.
Anshul Gupta, an analyst at Gartner, said: “We were not expecting a slowdown in Asia. China is usually a particularly big market in the first quarter, with the Chinese New Year normally leading to a sales boom.
“But this year consumers have held off upgrading, waiting for other high end devices, like the new Apple iPhone.”
The iPhone 5 is expected to land during September or October, with a feature set that takes in 4G network support and an all-new design.
However, rumours that Apple will swap Gorilla Glass for a more robust, scratch-resistant Liquidmetal construction have been dismissed by the alloy’s inventor.