Smartphone Growth Continues, but Headed for a Slowdown: Gartner
Smartphone sales grew 36 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 and accounted for 57.6 percent of overall mobile phone sales in the fourth quarter.Sales of smartphones accounted for 53.6 percent of overall mobile phone sales in 2013, and exceeded annual sales of feature phones for the first time, while worldwide sales of smartphones to users totaled 968 million units in 2013, an increase of 42.3 percent from 2012, according to a report from IT research firm Gartner. Smartphone sales grew 36 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 and accounted for 57.6 percent of overall mobile phone sales in the fourth quarter, up from 44 percent year over year. In the smartphone OS market, Android's share grew 12 percentage points to reach 78.4 percent in 2013. The Android platform is expected to continue to benefit from this, with sales of Android phones in 2014 approaching the billion mark. "Mature markets face limited growth potential as the markets are saturated with smartphone sales, leaving little room for growth with declining feature phone market and a longer replacement cycle," Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. "Lack of compelling hardware innovation has further exacerbated replacement cycles for high-end smartphones in 2013 because consumers don't find enough reasons to upgrade."
The increasing contribution of smartphones was led by growth in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, Asia/Pacific and Eastern Europe, where smartphone sales grew by more than 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.