Global smartphone sales overtake feature phones for first time

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Smartphones account for 51.8 per cent of the 435 million handset sales in the second quarter of 2013

Worldwide sales of smartphones reached 225 million units in the second quarter of 2013, an increase of 46.5 per cent on the same period in 2012, according to research firm Gartner.

Feature phone sales over the same period suffered a 21 per cent fall, reaching 210 million units and falling below smartphone sales for the first time.

Gartner principal research analyst Anshul Gupta said: “Smartphones accounted for 51.8 per cent of mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in smartphone sales surpassing feature phone sales for the first time.”

Meanwhile, the research also revealed that Samsung tightened its grip on the smartphone market, increasing its share to 31.7 per cent for the quarter from 29.7 in the same period last year.

In the operating system stakes, Android stretched out a huge lead over its rivals, increasing its share from 64.2 per cent in Q2 2012 to 79 per cent with iOS lagging behind on 14.2 per cent.

The major winner was Microsoft, whose Windows Phone operating system overtook BlackBerry for the first time after scooping a 3.3 per cent share compared to the Canadian manufacturer’s 2.7 per cent.

“While Microsoft has managed to increase share and volume in the quarter, Microsoft should continue to focus on growing interest from app developers to help grow its appeal among users,” added Gupta.

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