Worldwide smartphone shipments top 1bn

Fourth quarter figures reveal industry milestone reached in 2013: IDC

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Worldwide smartphone shipments top 1bn Vendors shipped a total of 1.0042bn smartphones worldwide in 2013, up 38.4% from the 725.3m units in 2012.
By  ITP.net Staff Writer Published  January 30, 2014

The worldwide smartphone market reached yet another milestone, having shipped 1bn units in a single year for the first time, according to figures released this week by International Data Corporation (IDC).

The market research company's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, reveals that vendors shipped a total of 1.0042bn smartphones worldwide, up 38.4% from the 725.3m units in 2012.

Smartphones accounted for 55.1% of all mobile phone shipments in 2013, up from the 41.7% of all mobile phone shipments in 2012. In the fourth quarter of 2013, vendors shipped a total of 284.4m smartphones worldwide, up 24.2% from the 229m units shipped in Q4 2012.

In the worldwide mobile phone market (inclusive of smartphones), vendors shipped 1.8218bn units, up 4.8% from the 1.7381bn units shipped in 2012. In Q4 2012 alone, vendors shipped a total of 488.4m units worldwide, up 0.9% from the 484.0m units shipped in Q4 2012. This is 2.8% lower than the 502.4m units that IDC had recently forecast.

"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 494.4m units worldwide in 2011, and doubling that volume in just two years demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones."

"Among the top trends driving smartphone growth are large screen devices and low cost," said Ryan Reith, programme 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."

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