For the first time ever, smartphones have outsold feature phones worldwide

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According to industry analyst IDC’s recent sales data, the first quarter of 2013 has a very significant statistic. Smartphones have finally outsold feature phones (cell phones that are not smartphones but do more than just calls and texts — basically all non-smartphone cell phones) worldwide. However, the lead is very slim, as smartphones have made up  216 million shipments out of 419 million total, giving it 51.6 percent of total sales.

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As for market share between smartphone vendors, Samsung remains on top with a 32.7 percent market share, up from 28.8 percent the same time last year. Apple on the other hand is second at 17.3 percent, but is down 6.6 percent year-over-year. LG, Huawei and ZTE make up the rest of the top 5.

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The numbers for total mobile phone shipments and market share have a slightly different look to them. While Samsung still leads pretty handily with 27.5 percent, Nokia is at an impressive second with 14.8 percent, but this is down from 20.6 percent last year when it still closely trailed Samsung in terms of total mobile phone shipments.

But again, the most significant piece of information here is that smartphones have finally begun outselling feature phones. It’s been a long time coming, and it’s a trend that is most likely going to continue. As the years go by and smartphones become more and more affordable for everyone, expect to see that amount grow even more.

Also, I have a feeling we’re gonna be seeing Samsung and Apple in these charts for awhile.

[via IDC, Engadget, image via jfingas]

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3 comments

  1. Enrique
    Author/Staff

    [@Ed] Hey there Ed! Here’s a good definition, courtesy of Wikipedia:

    “A feature phone is a mobile phone which is priced at the mid-range in a wireless provider’s hardware lineup. It is intended for customers who want a moderately priced and multipurpose phone without the expense of a high-end smartphone. A feature phone has additional functions over and above a basic mobile phone or “dumb phone” which is only capable of voice calling and text messaging.”

    I hope that helps!