In the circles most of us hang out, it might seem incredible that featurephones – aka dumb phones – were still outselling smartphones until recently, but that was indeed the case right up to the first quarter of this year. The latest Gartner figures show that smartphones finally broke ahead in Q2, achieving 51.8 percent of worldwide phone sales.

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,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. Asia/Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe exhibited the highest smartphone growth rates of 74.1 percent, 55.7 percent and 31.6 percent respectively, as smartphone sales grew in all regions.

The news wasn’t quite so good for Apple, with its year-on-year marketshare dropping more than four points to 14.2 percent.


This does, however, reflect a period in which market leader Samsung launched a flurry of new handsets. Apple’s position is likely to improve substantially when the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C are launched, likely next month.

Via TechCrunch

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7 Responses to “Smart finally beats dumb, but while smartphones rise Apple’s share falls”

  1. To me this is a foreseeable trend that will continue. Yes, Apple did not release a new phone for some time and people looking to buy a new phone are more likely to choose a model that has been released recently. But the markets thats drive this trend (and will continue to do so) are very likely developing economies with lower income per person compared to the western world. In those economies Apple products will mostly not be the first choice due to price and availability. Even in the western world the shift will probably be towards cheaper aka Android smartphones as the adoption of smartphones among the tech savvy (and thus mostly better off) community is probably near 100%. So for people who only just now consider buying a smartphone price will be much more important. Especially since the number of people on prepaid plans inside this group is probably quite high. So I think it is quite natural that Apple’s worldwide market share will drop over time. But let’s see if there will be a “cheap” iPhone and how this will affect Apple’s marketshare.


  2. Its amazing that every mobile tech site out there compares Apple’s numbers with Samsung’s, forgetting that Samsung sells several more models of Android phones than Apple sells of iOS phones. Samsung is always going to be way ahead of Apple. How is this news?


    • Ben Lovejoy says:

      Hi Drew, the news isn’t that Apple has a smaller marketshare than Samsung, but that smartphones finally overtook featurephones and that Apple’s share is falling – though, as I say, this is unlikely to last long


  3. Ray Wiley says:

    We can’t be talking about their stock on the market… They’ve gone from about $455 to currently $498 since August 9.


  4. unfortunately at the same time smartphones are turning into dumb phones.


  5. Well of course this is going to happen. If smartphones are overtaking dumb phones, it means many people are replacing their dumb phones/feature phones. The majority are going to replace them with cheap Android crap because they don’t know any better. The only thing I don’t get is why go with a junk Android phone when you can still get a cheap 4s or a free 4? Both are quality devices compared to equivalent Android offerings.


  6. Len Williams says:

    Apple will be releasing the new iPhone very shortly. Is it surprising to anyone why iPhone sales may be slumping a bit? Watch what happens when the new iPhone(s) are on the market and the pent up buying frenzy of iPhone officionados is released.

    Since feature phone sales are going down, it’s not surprising that people who formerly would have purchased cheap feature phones are now buying cheap smartphones. Again, this is no surprise to nearly everyone. How many cheap new Datsuns and Hyundais are purchased as compared to Mercedes, BMWs or Lexuses (Lexi?)? Give me exceptional design and engineering over plastic bells and whistles any day.