A new report says the global mobile phone market declined by 1.7% in 2012, down from 1.78 billion devices sold in 2011 to 1.75 in 2012.
This is the first time the global mobile sales have fallen from the previous year since 2009, according to Gartner, the research firm that put together the report.
“Tough economic conditions, shifting consumer preferences and intense market competition weakened the worldwide mobile phone market this year,” the report says.
Another reason for the drop is the weakening demand for feature phones, which possess some smartphone abilities but are limited. While smartphones had record sales and were up 38.3% for the fourth quarter of 2012, feature phone sales fell by 19.3% -- and that decline is expected to continue.