More smartphones sold than feature phones for the first time

The first quarter of 2013 marks the first time more smartphones were sold than feature phones.
(Ole Spata / EPA)

Worldwide smartphones sales surpassed feature phone sales in the first quarter of 2013 for the first time.

Nearly 419 million devices were sold during that period, with more than 216 million, or 51.6%, being smartphones, according to International Data Corporation Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

“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 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.”
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And Samsung once again led all cellphone sales. The South Korean company sold nearly 71 million smartphones and 115 million feature phones total during the first quarter.

“By the end of 1Q13, Samsung shipped more units than the next four vendors combined,” IDC said in its report.

Nokia, which has struggled to sell its smartphones, saw its sales continue to dwindle. The Finnish phone maker sold the second most phones, almost 70 million total, in the first quarter, but its numbers were down more than 25% compared to last year.

Apple, meanwhile, sold more than 37 million smartphones in the first quarter, the most it has ever sold during that period, but its year-to-year growth was just 6.6%. IDC said it was the first time since 2009 that the Cupertino tech giant did not have have a double-digit year-over-year growth.


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