Smartphone shipments expected to grow to 958.8 million units for the full year of 2013, up 32.7% from 722.5 million units in 2012, according to new IDC figures.
For the first time, smartphone shipments worldwide will exceed feature phone shipments, accounting for 52.2% of all unit shipments in 2013.
“This year will mark a watershed year for smartphones,” says IDC mobile program research manager Ramon Llamas.
“If you look at the number of vendors who support both feature phones and smartphones, many of them have not only successfully transitioned their product portfolios to highlight smartphones, but smartphones have become their primary value proposition going forward.
“In some cases, smartphones have accounted for well over 50% of their quarterly shipment volume. Looking ahead, we expect the gulf between smartphones and features phones to grow ever wider.”
In another major trend, the figures show that emerging markets now dominate smartphone shipments, while developed markets (including the USA, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand) are now in the minority.
In 2013, emerging markets are expected to account for 64.8% of all shipments, compared to 35.2% in the developed world.
Emerging markets are also expected to achieve a growth rate in smartphone shipments of 45.4% in 2013, compared to just 14.3% in developed countries.