Smartphones outsell basic feature handsets

16th August 2013

Smartphone sales exceeded feature phone sales for the first time in the April-to-June period, according to research firm Gartner.

Worldwide mobile phone sales totalled 435 million units. Smartphone sales accounted for 225 million units, up 46.5% from the previous year.

Feature phones totalled 210 million units, down 21%.  The highest smartphone growth rates came from Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, the firm said.

A smartphone is commonly defined as a device that has built-in applications and can connect to the internet.  In contrast, feature phones tend to perform fewer functions and are priced more cheaply.

“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.

However, a competing firm, IDC, said this milestone had already been reached in the first three months of 2013.

Gartner said that in terms of operating systems, Google’s Android was top, with 79% market share, followed by Apple’s iOS with 14.2%. However, Microsoft overtook Blackberry for the first time to come in third place.

BBC