New mobile phone products – particularly the latest Android offerings and the launch of Apple’s much-hyped iPhone 5 – will help to drive smartphone sales throughout the remainder of 2012, particularly in Europe and North America according to Gartner.
While the research body recorded a two per cent global decline in the total number of mobile units sold during the first three months of the year, sales for the rest of 2012 will be buoyed by the launch of new Windows and Android operating systems, in addition to the release of new handsets.
Smartphone sales in general continue to be the main driver behind growth in the mobile device market – with sales of this type of handset up 44.7 per cent compared with the same period last year.
In China, demand for third-generation (3G) smartphones is on the rise, thanks to the efforts of local manufacturers ZTE, Huawei, TCL and Lenovo, among others.
As smartphones continue to become more advanced, mobile payment technology is becoming increasingly popular – whether consumers are looking to take advantage of new ‘wave and pay’ checkouts or completing online transactions on their handsets.
This means that mobile payment security and compliance are important considerations for both online and bricks-and-mortar retailers, as efforts need to be taken to ensure customer data remains secure.
All merchants who accept payments – including mobile payments – must remain compliant with PCI DSS requirements. Earlier this year, the PCI Security Standards Council announced that mobile payments would be one of its key areas of focus in the months ahead due to the rapidly-growing popularity of this technology.
Merchant compliance requirements can vary depending on the size and scope of the business – and retailers will undoubtedly want to keep on top of the latest payment trends.
But in spite of the strong take-up of smartphone technology, overall global mobile phone sales are expected to be lower this year, according to Gartner principal research analyst Annette Zimmermann.
She said that the total forecasted smartphone sales figures for 2012 could be adjusted downward by up to 20 million units, due in part to an overall reduction in demand in the Asia-Pacific region and a lower number of new product launches taking place in the first quarter of the year.
This was keenly observed in the wake of Chinese New Year celebrations, which have previously corresponded with a spike in handset sales.