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Report: Smartphones Outsell Feature Phones for First Time

Worldwide sales of smartphones rose to 51.8 percent to surpass sales of feature phones for the first time in the second quarter of 2013, according to a new report from market research firm Gartner.

Mobile phone sales rose 3.6 percent over the same quarter in the previous year, for a total of 435 million units. Of those, 225 million were smartphones, which clocked a growth of 46.5 percent over 2012's second quarter, pushing them ahead of feature pones, which saw a 21 percent drop between the two periods.

"Asia/Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe exhibited the highest smartphone growth rates of 74.1 percent, 55.7 percent and 31.6 percent respectively, as smartphone sales grew in all regions," according to information released by Gartner.

Among smartphone operating systems, Android's lead improved from 64.2 percent market share in the second quarter of 2012 to 79 percent in the same period of 2013. iOS still holds the number two spot, though it slipped from 18.8 percent to 14.2 over the year. Microsoft took the third spot from BlackBerry, growing from 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2012 to 3.3 percent in 2013. It's the first time Microsoft has cracked the top three. BlackBerry saw a drop in market share between the two quarters, going from 5.2 to 2.7 percent.

"While Microsoft has managed to increase share and volume in the quarter, Microsoft should continue to focus on growing interest from app developers to help grow its appeal among users," said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, in a prepared statement.

Samsung lead the way among smartphone vendors with a 31.7 percent market share, a gain of two points over the same period in 2012. Apple was, again, the largest vendor to see a drop in market share, from 18.8 to 14.2 percent, though the company still holds the number two spot and actually sold 10.2 percent more units in the second quarter of 2013 than it did in the same period of the previous year. LG rounds out the top three, with a 5.1 percent market share.

"With second quarter of 2013 sales broadly on track, we see little need to adjust our expectations for worldwide mobile phone sales forecast to total 1.82 billion units this year," Gupta said in a prepared statement. "Flagship devices brought to market in time for the holidays, and the continued price reduction of smartphones will drive consumer adoption in the second half of the year."

The full report is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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