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Smartphone shipments pass one billon units in a single year for first time

Smartphones break a barrier in 2013

Jan 28 2014, 10:16am CST | by

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Smartphone shipments pass one billon in a single year units for first time

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Smartphone shipments pass one billon units in a single year for first time

Research firm IDC has published its numbers for the mobile phone market in 2013. The company says that 2013 was the first time ever that smartphone shipments reached over a billion units in a single year. The total number of smartphones shipped according to IDC was 1,004.2 million units. That number is an increase of 38.4% compared to the number of smartphones shipped in 2012.

"The sheer volume and strong growth attest to the smartphone's continued popularity in 2013," says Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team. "Total smartphone shipments reached 494.4 million units worldwide in 2011, and doubling that volume in just two years demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones."

The global mobile phone market, which includes smartphones, shipped 1,821.8 million units in 2013. That is a gain of 4.8% compared to 2013. In Q4 of 2013, mobile phone sellers shipped 488.4 million units alone.

"Among the top trends driving smartphone growth are large screen devices and low cost," said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "Of the two, I have to say that low cost is the key difference maker. Cheap devices are not the attractive segment that normally grabs headlines, but IDC data shows this is the portion of the market that is driving volume. Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many.

Samsung was the top smartphone vendor for the year with a double digit lead over Apple in second place. Rounding out the top five smartphone vendors are Huawei, Lenovo, and LG. Lenovo took the fourth place spot on the list even though it has no offerings in North America or Western Europe.


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