Apple holds 7.9% of total phone market

Smartphones may be hauling in lots of sales, but there are still tons of featurephones out there. New data from research firm Gartner suggests that Apple is slowly starting to chip away at the market, with 7.9% of total phone sales across the world. That means that Apple is now the third-largest phone maker in the world, coming in behind Samsung and Nokia.

Having said that, phone sales overall were down 2% compared to last year, with 419.1 million units being distributed around the globe. That marks the first time since Q2 2009 that phone sales have dropped. Despite that, Apple has managed to double its total market share in a single year.

Total sales are down, but smartphones continue to see strong growth. Smartphone sales increased by 44.7% to 144.4 million units. Apple is able to compete with just three different iPhone models, and Gartner warns that differentiation will be a problem for Android going forward: "This is particularly true for smartphones based on the Android OS, where a strong commoditization trend is at work and most players are finding it hard to break the mould." The mid-range is in the most trouble, with only price being the major differentiating factor.

[via Mac Observer]