Samsung, Apple buck declining trend in UK mobile phone market

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Samsung and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) are bucking the overall decline in the United Kingdom's mobile phone market by posting healthy growth in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the latest stats from Strategy Analytics.

Overall, the mobile phone market shrank four percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter, and was dragged down by declining sales of Nokia (NYSE: NOK), BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY), and HTC phones. The U.K. report tracks mobile vendor market shares at the four major U.K. mobile operators: O2, Vodafone, Everything Everywhere and Three.

Perhaps reflecting the declining trend in the U.K. mobile phone market, Vodafone was reportedly considering selling its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless for $135 billion, according to a report by The Sunday Times. A deal could be finalized between Vodafone and Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) about the sale this summer, the report noted.

European mobile phone market troubles are not confined to the U.K. The German mobile phone market dropped 8 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter. Despite the decline, Apple gained ground with the launch of its iPhone 5, while Nokia's Windows Phone 8 Lumia phone helped the Finnish firm increased its market share by 1 point of sequential market share in the quarter, according to Strategy Analytics. The German report tracks mobile vendor market share at the four major German mobile operators: T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2 and E-Plus.

For more:
- see Strategy Analytics blogs on the U.K. and German mobile phone markets
- read The Sunday Times report

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