More than one billion smartphones were shipped in 2013, the first time the milestone has been reached, according to IDC.
The analyst firm found that 1.004 billion smartphones were shipped last year, a 38.4 per cent increase on 2012’s 725.3 million units, and more than double the 494.4 million smartphones shipped in 2011.
Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC, said the doubling of smartphone volume in the space of two years “demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones”.
Smartphones made up more than half of all mobile phone shipments for the first time, accounting for 55.1 per cent of the total. The proportion of smartphones sold in 2012 was 41.7 per cent.
This means the total number of mobile phones shipped during the year was 1.822 billion units, a 4.8 per cent increase from 2012. Nearly half a billion (488.4 million) mobile phones were shipped in Q4 2013 alone.
Ryan Reith, programme director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, said low device costs have been the most important factor in driving smartphone volumes, with sub-$150 smartphones due to make up the majority of smartphone shipments in China and India.
Samsung remained significantly ahead in terms of smartphone shipments in 2013, with 313.9 million units shipped, giving it a 31.3 per cent market share, 1 per cent higher than in 2012. However, its market share fell slightly in Q4 compared to the previous quarter.
During the fourth quarter, 284.4 million smartphones were shipped globally, up 24.2 per cent from the 229 million units shipped in the fourth quarter of 2012.