Smartphones sales outpace feature phones in Q2

Large smartphone and people

Smartphones sales have blown past feature phones in the second quarter of 2013 for the first time.

According to analyst outfit Gartner, worldwide smartphone sales reached 225 million units, up 46.5 per cent from the second quarter of 2012. Feature phone sales totaled 210 million units and declined 21 per cent year-over-year.

"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.

Samsung maintained the top spot in the global smartphone market, as its share of smartphone sales reached 31.7 per cent, up from 29.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2012. Apple was number two but saw its market share fall from 18.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2012 to 14.2 per cent this year.

It was further bad news for Blackberry as Microsoft overtook the ailing Canadian firm for the first time, taking the number three spot with 3.3 per cent market share in the second quarter of 2013.

"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 Gupta.

Android continued to increase its lead, and now accounts for 79 per cent of the market.

Despite Microsoft's ascendence in the mobile OS market, its smartphone partner Nokia was feeling the effects of the decline in feature phone sales. Nokia's mobile phone sales totaled 61 million units, down from 83 million units a year ago.

One bright spot for the Finnish firm was its sales of Lumia smartphones. These grew 112.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2013 thanks to its expanded portfolio, which now include Lumia 520 and Lumia 720.

"With the recent announcement of the Lumia 1020, Nokia has built a wide portfolio of devices at multiple price points, which should boost Lumia sales in the second half of 2013," said Gupta."However, Nokia is facing tough competition from Android devices, especially from regional and Chinese manufacturers which are more aggressive in terms of price points."

Gupta said that sales were "broadly on track" and saw little need to adjust its forecasts of total worldwide sales to reach 1.82 billion units this year.

"Flagship devices brought to market in time for the holidays, and the continued price reduction of smartphones will drive consumer adoption in the second half of the year," he said.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.