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Smartphone Sales to Surpass Feature Phones in 2013 - Led by Android
Hardware 2 min read 3 comments

Smartphone Sales to Surpass Feature Phones in 2013 - Led by Android

A new study by IDC confirms that smartphone sales will surpass feature phone sales in 2013. The largest growth area will be in "emerging markets" - which are particularly Android-friendly.

800px Kid Touching Smartphone Dum Dum Kolkata 2012 04 22 1767
Image courtesy of © Wikimedia

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker data confirms that smartphone sales will surpass feature phone sales this year. Their forecast is for smartphone shiptments to grow 33%, year over year, reaching nearly 1 billion units (959 million) - up from 723 million in 2012. Smartphones are expected to make up 52.2% of all mobile phone shipments this year.

Demand will be driven primarily in emerging markets which, according to IDC, will account for 65% of all smartphones shipped in 2013 - up from 43% in 2010. Android devices, with global availability, widespread carrier access, and handsets at multiple price points, will constitute the bulk of smartphone sales. 

Prices for smartphones have dropped significantly over just the past 2 years. The average selling price (ASP) has declined from $443 in 2011, to $407 last year to only $372 in 2013. Most of the lower-priced smartphones use 3G instead of 4G, however - though this is in part due to limited 4G availability. IDC is not predicting significant price drops over the next several years - estimating the ASP in 2017 at $309.


How do you see the future of Android smartphones? 

Source: IDC


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  • Feature Phones - you know those generic flip phones without a touch screen and maybe a slide out qwerty keyboard that your Grandparents prefer to use? (especially if they're not used to using a personal computer - hey got to respect that some Senior Citizens do not like computers!) ....

    They're sometimes used by Kids when their parents want to give them a cheap cellular phone to use (but don't want to buy them an expensive smart phone) ...

    Anyhow, yeah Android will dominate the Global Market for obvious reasons (variety, value, prices) while Apple is merely a status symbol (ie buy an iPhone if you can afford it just to brag about how much you paid for it) ....

  • "Feature phones" are non-smartphones. Low-priced mobile devices that typically do not have a web browser (or very minimal web experience), do not support an app ecosystem, and do not have 3G capabilities.

  • My1 Jun 5, 2013 Link to comment

    What exactly do you mean with feature phones???