News Column

Smartphones Outsell Feature Phones for the First Time

April 26, 2013

Smartphones outsold feature phones in the first quarter for the first time ever on a global basis, research firm IDC reported on Friday.

The milestone represented a strong shift to advanced technology in emerging markets such as India and China.

Worldwide smartphone shipments reached 216.2 million units, or 51.6-percent of the total cellphone market of 418.6 million units. Smartphone sales jumped 41.6-percent year-over-year, rising from 152.7 million in 2012 to 216.2 million in 2013.

"Phone users want computers in their pockets," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC. "The days where phones are used primarily to make phone calls and send text messages are quickly fading away. As a result, the balance of smartphone power has shifted to phone makers that are most dependent on smartphones."

Samsung was the prime beneficiary of this shift, selling 70.7 million devices, up 60.7-percent on the year earlier quarter, and dominating the sector with a 32.7-percent share of the smartphone market, the report said.

Apple was in second place with sales of 37.4 million iPhones and a 17.3-percent market share. LG, Huawei and ZTE rounded out the top five with shipments of 10.3 million, 9.9 million and 9.1 million, respectively.

Samsung also led the entire cellphone market with sales of 115 million units and a market share of 27.5-percent. Nokia held second place with 14.8-percent, despite sales falling 25-percent from a year earlier. Apple was third with an 8.9-percent market share.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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