Summary: Sales of smartphones surged during the first quarter of 2013.
Smartphone shipments worldwide soared during the first quarter of the year, new research has revealed.
According to new figures released by Gartner, sales of the devices hit around 210 million units during the three-month period, a rise of 42.9 per cent since the same time in 2012.
In addition, the handsets accounted for 49.3 per cent of overall mobile phone sales across the globe, up 34.8 per cent from the first quarter of last year and 44 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2012.
While smartphones were once viewed as a luxury item, over time they have evolved into a commodity and more consumers than ever are able to afford a mobile with flashy features and larger screens.
What’s more, this explosion in sales means mobile marketers may need to work harder than ever to roll out effective campaigns tailored to the channel.
The research also discovered sales of feature phones dropped by 21.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 and Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, said users of these mobiles across the world are either content with their existing phones or waiting for smartphone prices to be reduced further.
“Either way, the prospect of longer replacement cycles is certainly not good news for both vendors and carriers looking to move users forward,” he added.
Meanwhile, Samsung has maintained its position as top dog of the mobile phone industry and the manufacturer’s sales were found to have grown by 13 per cent in quarter one. Its share of smartphones hit 30.8 per cent, up 3.2 per cent from the first quarter of last year.
Mr Gupta stated the Korean firm’s main market rival Apple is set to become increasingly dependent on the replacement market and face challenges in the upcoming two quarters, given that it isn’t expected to release any new products until the third quarter of the year.
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