Smartphones beat dumb phones for first time

News Marin Perez 12:51, Apr 26 2013

Consumers definitely want a computer in their pocket

For the first time ever, worldwide smartphone sales outpaced feature phone sales last quarter, according to data from IDC.

A report from the research firm states that there were 216.2 million smartphones shipped during the first quarter of 2013, which accounted for 51.6 percent of the total phone shipments. This shipment accounted for an increase of 41.6 percent for the same period last year but was a bit smaller than in the fourth quarter of 2012. That's to be expected though, as the fourth quarter is generally the best time for sales due to the holidays. 

"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," said IDC's Kevin Restivo, in a prepared statement. "As a result, the balance of smartphone power has shifted to phone makers that are most dependent on smartphones." 

Thanks to the success of its Galaxy S lineup, Samsung is the "undisputed leader in the worldwide smartphone market," IDC said. In fact, it shipped more than Apple, LG, Huawei and ZTE combined. Not all of those are the high-end Galaxy S or Galaxy Note, as Samsung also has a host of mid-range and entry-level smartphones. 

Apple was in second place for the quarter with 37.4 million iPhone sales. It's tough to see Apple receiving much of a major sales bump until its next iPhone is released and that doesn't look like it will happen until the fall. Apple could receive a major boost if it can finally get on China Mobile, though.

LG is likely happy with its third place slot, as the company shipped 10.3 milliion smartphones for the quarter and this represents a 110.2 percent increase from the same period last year. Huawei shipped about 9.9 million smartphones and ZTE shipped out 9.1 million devices. BlackBerry and Nokia fit into the "Others" category. 

[Via IDC]

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