Emerging Technology

Worldwide smartphone sales overtake featurephones for the first time

Andrew Sadauskas /

Worldwide smartphone shipments exceeded featurephone shipments for the first time in history during the second quarter of 2013, according to new figures.

The Gartner figures show the overall mobile phone market grew slightly to 435 million units worldwide during the second quarter of 2013, up slightly from 420 million units a year ago.

However, in the same timeframe smartphone shipments have surged, growing to 225 million units during the quarter, up from 153 million a year ago.

“Smartphones accounted for 51.8% of mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in smartphone sales surpassing feature phone sales for the first time,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.

The strongest take-up rates happened in emerging markets including the Asia/Pacific region (a growth rate of 74.1%), Latin America (55.7%) and Eastern Europe (31.6%).

The smartphone manufacturer marketshare figures show Samsung controls around 31.7% of the global market with 71.3 million units, followed by Apple with 31.9 million and 14.2%, LG on 11.4 million (5.1% marketshare), Lenovo at 10.6 million (4.7%), and ZTE claiming 9.6 million units (4.3%).

In terms of platforms, Android now claims a massive 79% of the market or 177 million units, iOS claims 14.2%, Microsoft (including all versions of Windows Phone and Windows Mobile) on 3.3% and BlackBerry now fourth at 2.7%.

When smartphones and featurephones are combined, Samsung claims 24.7% of the worldwide mobile phone market or 107 million units, with Nokia now a distant second at 60 million units or 14%, Apple claiming third, LG fourth with 17 million units (3.9% marketshare) and ZTE now claiming 15 million (3.5%).

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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