New research data from Gartner states that sales of Mobile Phones in all regions except Asia/Pacific declined in the First Quarter of 2013. The new Gartner statistics show us that Apple's iOS operating system remained in the number two spot in Q1 2013 but dropped 4.3% from the same quarter last year.
Apple's sales to end-users reached 38.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013 as Apple was able to burn some of the inventory built at the end of 2012 as iPhone 5 was rolling out in more markets, and as the company prepared for Chinese New Year. China is a key contributor to overall sales for Apple, and Gartner analysts saw evidence of this in the first quarter of 2013, when sales reached close to 7 million units in mainland China alone thanks to the lower price of the iPhone 4.
Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner stated that "Apple is faced with the challenge of being increasingly dependent on the replacement market as its addressable market is capped. The next two quarters will also be challenging, as there are no new products expected to be coming before the third quarter of 2013."
On the flipside, rumors abound that Apple's part orders have arrived earlier than usual, hinting at an earlier iPhone launch.
At the end of the day, if Apple is to reverse this current downward trend for the iPhone, they need to step up their game. Although there's a good business case to justify Apple entering the mid-range smartphone market, the timing of such a product is speculative at best.
Yet with Nokia stepping up to the plate to take the low end of the market with their upcoming Asha 501 phone at $99 and Samsung gearing up both a mid-range market phone and their entry level REX phones, I can't see Apple not introducing new mid-range iPhones in the not-too-distant future. Do you agree or disagree? Send in your comments.
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