Smartphone sales overtake feature phones for the first time – Gartner

15 Aug 2013

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We are officially living in the age of the smartphone as these computer-like internet-connected handsets now account for more than half of all mobile phones sold worldwide.

The latest mobile phone sales report from analyst firm Gartner shows that, overall, global sales have grown 3.6pc in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the previous year. Of the 435m units sold in this period, smartphones account for 225m, or 51.8pc.

Smartphones have seen sales rise 46.5pc year on year while feature phones have dropped 21pc to 210m units. Which means, as you can see from the figures, that smartphones have for the first time overtaken feature phones in the global market.

The highest rates of smartphone sales growth are exhibited in the Asia/Pacific (74.1pc), Latin America (55.7pc) and Eastern Europe (31.6pc) markets.

Slowing demand for feature phones worldwide has hit Nokia, which saw its total mobile phone sales drop from 83m units in Q2 2012 to 61m units in Q2 2013. Lumia sales, however, grew 112.7pc in this quarter as the Finnish brand has been working hard to expand its smartphone portfolio.

Samsung is still the No 1 smartphone vendor worldwide, taking a share of 31.7pc (up from 29.7pc in the previous year). Though a distant second with 14.2pc market share, Apple is seeing its sales rise with a 10.2pc increase on Q2 2012, bringing the brand to 32m units shipped in Q2 2013.

Gartner mobile phone sales report  August 2013 - Table 1

In another twist to the tale, Microsoft’s Windows Phone has overtaken struggling BlackBerry to become the world’s No 3 smartphone operating system with 3.3pc market share. Meanwhile, Android increased its staggering lead to 79pc of the market ahead of iOS’ 14.2pc.

Gartner mobile phone sales report  August 2013 - Table 2

Gartner has adjusted its forecast for worldwide mobile phone sales this year to 1.82bn units, in anticipation of ramped-up sales heading into the holiday season and following an expected new product launch from Apple.

Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com