During the first quarter of 2013, smartphones outsold featurephones for the first time ever, according to IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker figures.
The figures show vendors shipped a total of 418.6 million mobile phones during the first quarter of 2013, up from 402.4 million units year-on-year.
Of that total, vendors shipped 216.2 million smartphones, meaning 51.6% the total phone shipments in the quarter were smartphones.
“Phone users want computers in their pockets. The days where phones are used primarily to make phone calls and send text messages are quickly fading away,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
“As a result, the balance of smartphone power has shifted to phone makers that are most dependent on smartphones.”
The shift from featurephones to smartphones is good for companies with strong smartphone sales, particularly Samsung and Apple, with the big loser being Nokia, which has failed to convert its strong featurephone userbase to smartphones.