Research firm IDC published a report in March that suggested smartphones were going to outsell feature phones during the first quarter of this year. Today the company confirmed that, for the first time ever, that actually happened.
IDC found that 216.2 million smartphone units were sold during the quarter, representing 51.6 percent of all global phone shipments and 41.6 percent growth from the first quarter of 2012 when 152.7 million smartphone units were shipped. Despite out-shipping feature phones for the first time ever, smartphone shipments actually decreased 5.1 percent from the fourth quarter of last year.
“In addition to smartphones displacing feature phones, the other major trend in the industry is the emergence of Chinese companies among the leading smartphone vendors,” IDC research manager Ramon Llamas explained. “A year ago, it was common to see previous market leaders Nokia, BlackBerry (then Research In Motion), and HTC among the top five. 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.”
Samsung remains the world’s largest cell phone maker, followed by Nokia, Apple, LG and ZTE.