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Smartphones outsell feature phones
26 April 2013
Chinese companies - like Huawei - are among the leading smartphone vendors
Smartphones outsold feature phones for the first time in the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13), according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
The worldwide mobile phone market grew four per cent year over year, as vendors shipped a total of 418.6 million mobile phones in 1Q13 compared to 402.4 million units in the first quarter of 2012 and 483.2 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012.
In the worldwide smartphone market, vendors shipped 216.2 million units in 1Q13, which marked the first time more than half the total phone shipments in a quarter were smartphones.
The market grew 41.6 per cent compared to the 152.7 million units shipped in 1Q12, but 5.1 per cent lower than the 227.8 million units shipped in 4Q12.
In addition to smartphones displacing feature phones, the other major trend in the industry is the emergence of Chinese companies among the leading smartphone vendors
IDC "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."
"In addition to smartphones displacing feature phones, the other major trend in the industry is the emergence of Chinese companies among the leading smartphone vendors," noted Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team.
According to IDC, Huawei – which unveiled its first Windows Phone 8 in 2013 (the Ascend W1) – has shown significant improvement from where it was a year ago, when it offered a handful of Ascend smartphones and had more limited presence outside the Asia/Pacific region.
The company nearly doubled its unit shipments to regions outside of Asia/Pacific this past quarter when compared to 1Q12.
IDC also said that Samsung (which ships the ATIV S Windows Phone 8 handset) maintained the position it held at the end of 2012: the undisputed leader in the worldwide smartphone market.
By the end of 1Q13, Samsung shipped more units than the next four vendors combined.