More smartphones will ship in 2013 than feature phones, marking the first time this has happened over a 12-month period, according to forecasts from IDC.
The company said that vendors will ship 918.6 million smartphones this year, or “50.1 per cent” of total mobile phone shipments worldwide.
IDC noted that smartphone prices have fallen globally, “the smartphone strata are wider than ever”, and the roll-out of 4G networks are three factors which have made smartphones “an increasingly attractive option for users”.
It was forecast that by the end of 2017, 1.5 billion smartphones will be shipped worldwide, which equates to just over two-thirds of the total mobile phone shipments forecast for that year.
IDC said that while to date smartphone shipments were the result of demand in mature economies such as the US, the balance is gradually shifting to emerging markets, “where smartphone user bases are still relatively small and economic prospects are considerably higher”.