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Report: Global cellphone sales fell in 2012

NEW YORK — Research firm Gartner says worldwide cellphone sales fell last year, as economic turmoil dampened shopper appetites.

The decline was 1.7 percent, and it was the first time since 2009 that cellphone sales have fallen, Gartner says. Sales amounted to 1.75 billion units, meaning that one out of every four people on the planet bought a new cellphone last year.

A competing research firm, IDC, last month said that sales grew at 1.2 percent last year.

The firms agree that smartphone sales grew quickly, while non-smartphone sales declined by a roughly equal number.

Samsung Electronics of Korea is the world’s largest maker of phones, followed by Finland’s Nokia Corp. and Apple Inc. of the U.S., according to both research firms.

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