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Smartphones topped feature phones on sales chart for first time

Smartphones outsold feature phones in 2013, though market saturation, dropping device prices, and other issues will challenge handset makers

By: Michael Hatamoto from Feb 13, 2014 @ 15:05 CST

Smartphone sales finally eclipsed the sale of traditional feature phones for the first time in 2013, though smartphone revenue will likely slow as consumers choose from cheaper devices, according to research firm Gartner. Despite the good news that smartphones have outsold feature phones, manufacturers will have to deal with dropping prices and slower-than-expected revenue growth.


Samsung, Apple and Huawei led the global market in shipped units during 2013, though Lenovo, LG Electronics, and other manufacturers are fighting for consumer attention.

"While the top three mobile manufacturers are dominating the global mobile phone market, their share collectively fell in the fourth quarter of 2013 and yearly as Chinese and regional brands continue to raise their share."

It's a great time for consumers in developed markets looking for appealing smartphones at an affordable price from wireless carriers. However, smartphone market saturation in the United States and Western Europe is slowing down, especially with consumers keeping devices for a longer time, which has led to a shakeup. Companies such as Samsung and Apple were forced to introduce cheaper models to compete with smaller companies trying to push their way into the market.


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