It's now officially a smart phone world, report shows

Strong Samsung and Apple sales helped smart phones surpass feature phones globally for the first time ever, Gartner is reporting. 

  • close
    A man is silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with a Samsung Galaxy S4 in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica on August 14, 2013.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

In the second quarter of 2013, global sales of smart phones topped those of old-fashioned feature phones – a historical first. 

According to analytics firm Gartner, which released a study on the mobile phone market this week, the strong smart phone numbers (51.8 percent of the total market, compared to 48.2 percent for feature phones) were in large part driven by South Korean tech giant Samsung. In fact, Samsung remains the top smart phone manufacturer in the world, with a whopping 71.3 million handsets sold in Q2 of this year. 

To put things in perspective, Samsung's closet rival, Apple, sold almost 32 million smart phones globally in the same quarter, and LG sold about 11.5 million. 

Recommended: 32 essential Android tips and tricks

Other items of note from the study: The percentage of phones running Microsoft Windows Phone software increased from 2.6 percent in Q2 of last year to 3.3 percent in Q2 of 2013.

That's good enough to beat out flagging BlackBerry, which dropped down to 2.7 percent of the market globally. (For more on BlackBerry's travails – and future plans – check out our story from yesterday.) 

"While Microsoft has managed to increase share and volume in the quarter, Microsoft should continue to focus on growing interest from app developers to help grow its appeal among users," Gartner's Anshul Gupta says in a statement. 

Still, just as Samsung rules the smart phone market, the OS department is owned by Google's Android OS. 

Gartner puts Android's worldwide market share in Q2 at a hefty 79 percent, compared to 14.2 held by Apple. 


We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.