Living in a Smartphone World

By Barbara Maningat | April 26, 2013

 

It’s official - smartphones have taken over. The first quarter of 2013 marks the first time smartphones out-shipped feature phones.

The latest International Data Corporation report shows out of the 418.6 million mobile devices shipped worldwide, smartphones claim 216.2 million - or 51.6 percent - of that tally.

The smartphone market has been on the rise in the past year with a 41.6 percent improvement since the first quarter of 2012.

With these stats, Mobile Marketing Daily numbers the days of the simplistic feature phones, even in emerging markets where standard devices typically hold more popularity.

“This tipping point in the phone market shifts the center of power to those vendors that are most reliant on their smartphone lines.”

Though this may not come as much of a surprise to some, IDC Senior Research Analyst Kevin Restivo validates the shift.

"Phone users want computers in their pockets," stated Restivo. "The days where phones are used primarily to make phone calls and send text messages are quickly fading away."

So, which company can call itself the smartphone king? LA Times reports Samsung took a strong lead in the first quarter with 70.7 million smartphone shipments - 32.7 percent in the first quarter, dominating the next top company at 17.3 percent for Apple.

CNet notes clear bumps in shipments for each Top 5 mobile company: Samsung saw a 60.7 percent increase, Apple up 6.6 percent, followed by LG up 110 percent, Huawei up 94 percent, and ZTE up 49 percent.

And Gigaom says Samsung’s throne on the smartphone hierarchy will remain unchallenged.

“Unless Samsung stumbles in a big way, it’s not likely that another Android handset maker will outsell Apple’s iPhone any time soon. For all intents and purposes, Samsung is the de facto Android standard, having built a huge audience with its line of Galaxy smartphones.”

While the fight for global mobile dominance evolves, PC Mag reports the move from big name companies of the past to the emergence of Chinese vendors:

"A year ago, it was common to see previous market leaders Nokia, BlackBerry, and HTC among the top five," said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's mobile phone team said. "While those companies have been in various stages of transformation since, Chinese vendors, including Huawei and ZTE as well as Coolpad and Lenovo, have made significant strides to capture new users with their respective Android smartphones." (PC Mag)

And with this surge of smartphones will news apps see a pop in popularity? CNet says, yes.

The app market also saw an 11 percent hike in mobile app downloads over all 2012 downloads combined. The total 13.4 billion downloads raked in $2.2 billion in the these first few months alone.

"Apps have had a huge impact on the way consumers use mobile devices, what they value, and what they expect from smart phones and tablets," Canalys chief analyst for analytics Adam Daum said in a statement. (CNet)