2013's Global Smartphone Sales Outnumbered Feature Phones for the First Time

Alex Spencer

Phones Smartphones Android Windows Phone

Smartphone sales outnumbered feature phones globally for the first time in 2013.

That's according to a Gartner report, which found that 53.6 per cent of mobile phones sold last year were smartphones. That's a total of 986m units, up 42.3 per cent year-on-year.

31 per cent of those sales were Samsung handsets, a slight growth on the 30.3 per cent share it held in 2012, making it once again the single biggest manufacturer.

Apple took a comfortable second, with a 15.6 per cent share – more than 10 percentage points ahead of any other manufacturer. Apple's share did fall from 19.1 per cent a year earlier but this was due to the growth of the market, as actual unit sales increased 15.8 per cent.

Android continues to hold its position as the dominant smartphone OS, growing by 12 percentage points from last year to reach 78.4 per cent. Gartner expects Android handset sales in 2014 to approach 1bn units.

Q4 2013

Looking at the final quarter of last year specifically, smartphones account for 57.6 per cent of sales.

In Q4, smartphone sales in India grew by 166.8 per cent year-on-year, the highest among any of the countries tracked by Gartner. Sales also grew 96.1 per cent in Latin America, and 86.3 per cent in China.