It’s Official: Smartphones Finally Outsell Dumbphones, And Android’s Responsible


It had to happen eventually, but now that it has, it feels weird: smartphones are now officially outselling dumb feature phones internationally for the first time ever. And what made it happen? Cheap Android phones.

Gartner has just put out its latest smartphone market report, and in Q2 2013, smartphone sales worldwide were up 46.5% year-over-year, with 225 million units shipped. Meanwhile, feature phone sales plummeted another 21% year-over-year to just 210 million units.

That’s kind of amazing, when you think about it. Although we take smartphones for granted in the developed world, these numbers indicate that people are buying cheap Android phones over feature phones in places so remote, they might not even have electricity. How’s that for market penetration?

Android is responsible, of course. Not only did Android make up 79% of all smartphone sales last quarter, but Samsung continued to take ever larger parts of the pie, selling 31.7% of all smartphones (up 29.7% year-over-year). Apple’s growing shipments of the iPhone, but overall marketshare declined because it can’t compete in low-to-mid-end markets. That’s a strong argument for the iPhone 5C.

Even so, all together, Android and iOS now make up 93.2% of all smartphones in the world. Everyone else — Blackberry, Windows Phone, etc. — is battling for that tiny 6.8% wedge of pie. And since feature phones aren’t selling nearly as much as they used to, Nokia is in particularly bad shape now. All of the Finnish company’s business comes from, you guessed it, Windows Phone and feature phones. Time to switch to Android, gents.