Smartphones will outship feature phones in 2013, IDC says


Annual smartphone shipments are set to overtake feature phone shipments for the first time ever in 2013, research firm IDC reports. Manufacturers will ship 918.6 million smartphones this year, corresponding to 50.1 percent of all mobile shipments worldwide. IDC credits plummeting smartphone prices, a wider range of options and the rollout of 4G wireless networks for galvanizing consumer adoption, and project that vendors will ship 1.5 billion smartphones annually by 2017, translating to two-thirds of all devices shipped that year.

Because smartphone owners now account for the majority of all wireless subscribers in the United States, IDC expects slower smartphone momentum in the U.S. market over the years to come: "Underpinning its growth is the constantly shifting operating system landscape, in which resurgent BlackBerry and Windows Phone aim to gain salience against incumbents Android and Apple iOS," the firm stated. Smartphone shipments to China, Brazil and India will instead fuel the category's growth in the years to come, with low-cost Android devices leading the way in China, the world's single largest market. Release