Global smartphone sales eclipse feature phone sales for the first time ever

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Smartphones sales are on the rise and show no signs of stopping. In fact, according to data from Gartner, more smartphones were sold than feature phones for the first time ever last quarter around the world.

“Smartphones accounted for 51.8 percent of mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in smartphone sales surpassing feature phone sales for the first time,” Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement.

Gartner Smartphone Data

The smartphone industry mainly has Samsung to thank. Samsung maintained its first-place position in the global smartphone markets, and saw its share of smartphone sales rise to 31.7 percent, up from 29.7 percent one year ago.

Also of note is the Android market share. Android phones accounted for 79 percent of the smartphones shipped last quarter. And Microsoft has finally overtaken BlackBerry to become the third highest-selling operating system on the list.

Apple, the second highest-selling OEM on the list, saw its sales rise to 32 million units, up 10.2 percent from last year. But while sales continued to grow, Apple’s ASP (average selling price) dropped to its lowest level since the original iPhone. This is largely due to the popularity of older iPhone models among first-time smartphone buyers, like the iPhone 4, which can often be had for free with a contract.

“While Apple’s ASP demonstrates the need for a new flagship model, it is risky for Apple to introduce a new lower-priced model too,” said Gupta. But Apple is expected to do just that, with rumors swirling of a new budget-priced iPhone 5C to be released alongside its flagship iPhone 5S next month. “Although the possible new lower-priced device may be priced similarly to the iPhone 4 at $300 to $400, the potential for cannibalization will be much greater than what is seen today with the iPhone 4,” Gupta added.

Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but it’s a pretty safe bet that smartphone sales will only continue to rise.

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