Smartphone Shipments Surpass Feature Phones in Q1 2013

The latest data from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker shows that worldwide smartphone shipments topped those of feature phones for the first time in history during the first quarter of 2013.

Industry data indicates that vendors shipped 418.6 million mobile phones in Q1 of 2013 vs. 402.4 million units during Q1 of 2012.

IDC notes that Q1 of 2013 marked the first time that more than half (51.6%) the total phone shipments in a quarter were smartphones.

“Phone users want computers in their pockets. The days where phones are used primarily to make phone calls and send text messages are quickly fading away,” says 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,” adds Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “A year ago, it was common to see previous market leaders Nokia, BlackBerry (then Research In Motion), and HTC among the top five. While those companies have been in various stages of transformation since, Chinese vendors, including Huawei and ZTE as well as Coolpad and Lenovo, have made significant strides to capture new users with their respective Android smartphones.”

To learn more, visit IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.