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Research published by Gartner indicates that smartphone sales grew 46.5% in Q2, exceeding feature phone sales for the first time.

Gartner’s research has indicated that global mobile phone sales for the second quarter of 2013 was 435 million units, of which 225 million units were smartphones (an increase of 46.5% from Q2 2012) while the remaining 210 million units were feature phones (a decrease of 21% from the previous year).

This is the first time that world-wide smartphone sales have exceeded those of their more basic counterparts.

A smartphone can be defined as a mobile phone with built-in apps and internet connectivity, whereas feature phones tend to have lesser functionality and a lower price.

There has also been increased demand for more affordable smartphones, with the likes of LG and Lenovo already offering lower-cost smartphones compared to those of Samsung and Apple. This trend is also starting to ring true of the big two suppliers, with Samsung releasing the S3, and more recently, S4 minis – while Apple are rumored to be releasing a low-cost version of the iPhone over the coming months.

Continued rise in the demand for smartphones should see prices starting to fall as market forces take effect.

Going mobile

This shift in the marketplace indicates how businesses and consumers alike are opting for smartphones to manage their digital life. From a business perspective, these statistics open the door to implementing Unified Communications (UC) technologies, and even Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, in their business mobile strategies.

The reduced costs of implementation, and lower total cost of ownership (TCO), of a flexible mobile solution is making UC a viable option for many more businesses as the working world becomes a more flexible environment, with increased demand for uninterrupted communication – wherever we are.

Additional findings

Operating system by manufacturer

It isn’t surprising that the top 2 OS’ are Android and iOS – with a dominant market share of 93.2% between them in April-June this year (79% Android and 14.2% iOS).

The major development in OS market share has occurred between 3rd and 4th place, with sales of Windows phones overtaking those of BlackBerry for the first time – further adding to BlackBerry’s concerns about its future.

The final named position has been taken by Nokia’s Symbian operating system.

Smartphone sales by manufacturer

Samsung have maintained their position as global market leader, with 32% share of the market during Q2 of this year, while Apple remain second with a 14% market share.

LG, Lenovo and ZTE take the other top spots with around 5% of the market each, while the remaining percentage is taken up by a combination of smaller manufacturers.
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You can access Gartner’s full press release here.