Smartphones outsell feature phones for first time as Windows surpasses BlackBerry

Smartphone sales sped past feature phones for the first time as they grew by 46.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2013 with Microsoft overtaking BlackBerry to become the number three smartphone OS.

Research firm Gartner report that smartphone sales exceeded feature phones for the first time ever as sales hit 225 million units with feature phones declining by 21 per cent to 210 million units. Meanwhile, worldwide sales of all mobile phones grew by 3.6 per cent to 435 million units.

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

The OS that benefitted the most from the increase was Google’s Android OS as its market share grew to 79 per cent in Q2 2013 from 64.2 per cent this time last year. Microsoft celebrated becoming the third largest OS in terms of sales as its market share increased to 3.3 per cent leaving BlackBerry with just 2.7 per cent. Apple’s iOS, in second place, slipped from having 18.8 per cent of the market in Q2 2012 to 14.2 per cent this time round.

“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,” said Mr. Gupta.

Samsung continued to lead the smartphone sales by vendor category with a 31.7 per cent market share that was more than double Apple’s share of 14.2 per cent. LG Electronics came out in third with 5.1 per cent followed by Lenovo on 4.7 per cent, ZTE with 4.3 per cent and the remaining 40 per cent made up of ‘Others’.

In terms of future figures, Gupta added that Gartner sees “little need” to change their sales forecast of 1.82 billion units for the year as a whole.

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