Samsung

Samsung Galaxy smartphones are displayed at a shop in Taipei, Taiwan. (David Chang / EPA / November 20, 2013)

  • Also
  • As Apple stock drops, Carl Icahn buys $500 million more in shares As Apple stock drops, Carl Icahn buys $500 million more in shares
  • Apple TV not just a hobby anymore, get its own section on Web store Apple TV not just a hobby anymore, get its own section on Web store
  • Apple stock tumbles on disappointing iPhone sales Apple stock tumbles on disappointing iPhone sales

For the first time, more than 1 billion smartphones were shipped worldwide in a single year, according to a report this week.

A total of 1.004 billion smartphones were shipped to vendors in 2013, meaning phone makers sold those devices to wireless carriers, retailers or directly to their customers, according to a report by International Data Corporation.

The 2013 figure is up 38.4% from the 725.3 million smartphones that phone makers shipped in 2012. Smartphones accounted for 55.1% of all the mobile phones shipped last year, the report said.

PHOTOS: Google unveils new Glass frames

"Total smartphone shipments reached 494.4 million units worldwide in 2011, and doubling that volume in just two years demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones," Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's mobile phone team, said in a statement. 

The increased availability of cheaper devices is what's driving the growth in smartphone shipments, IDC said.

"Cheap devices are not the attractive segment that normally grabs headlines, but IDC data show this is the portion of the market that is driving volume," Ryan Reith, program director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, said in a statement. "Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many."

Samsung and Apple continued to lead the way when it came to shipments in 2013. Samsung shipped nearly 314 million smartphones last year, holding 31.3% of the market, while Apple sold 153.4 million, accounting for 15.3%.

ALSO:

The Internet of Alcohol Things is coming at last

Gmail bug caused service to incorrectly categorize some messages

AT&T continues T-Mobile spat, offers new, existing users $100 credit