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IDC: smartphones outsell feature phones for the first time ever

IDC: smartphones outsell feature phones for the first time ever

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Research firm IDC is sharing its most recent smartphone sales data, numbers that show big gains for the top manufacturers from Korea and China, but only a modest jump for Apple. The entire mobile market grew by four percent year over year, says IDC, with companies combining to produce nearly 420 million handsets. Most interestingly, it notes that the past quarter is the first time that smartphones actually outshipped feature phones, garnering 51.6 percent of the market, but knowing how nebulously the industry defines "smartphone," we aren’t putting too much stock in the claim.

According to IDC, Samsung had by far the largest share of smartphone shipments last quarter — a total of 32.7 percent — nearly doubling second-place manufacturer Apple’s share. In comparison, LG, Huawei, and ZTE all shipped roughly the same number of devices — between 10.3 million units (LG) and 9.1 million units (ZTE) over the quarter, with both LG and Huawei growing by roughly 100 percent. In comparison, Samsung moved just over 70.7 million units, and Apple, 37.4 million. Every other manufacturer combined moved a total of 78.8 million smartphones — more than Samsung, which placed first with a 37 percent increase over last year.

In terms of growth, the big winner was reportedly LG, which managed to more than double its shipments over the past year, followed closely by Huawei, which nearly doubled its own numbers. In comparison, Samsung posted growth of 60.7 percent, while Apple only mustered an increase of 6.6 percent.

Nokia is still out-shipping Apple, but for how much longer?

Still, Cupertino managed to ship more units than it did this time last year, and the same can’t be said for Nokia. Looking at all mobile phone sales, the one-time king of the cellphone world saw shipments fall by more than a quarter to 61.9 million units — still clearly outshipping Apple, but perhaps not for much longer.