Smartphone sales will finally surpass flip phone sales in 2013


Sometimes it can be hard for us tech enthusiasts to accept it, but worldwide, flip phones still reign supreme, as far as numbers are concerned. Most mobile users still haven’t made the transition to the latest generation of web-capable, app-friendly phones. While smartphone sales topped off at around 700 million units last year, according to Information Week, this year it’s estimated that they will soar to one billion. To put it into perspective, total cell sales are estimated to cap at 1.9 billion units, meaning smartphones will outnumber feature phones by 100 million.

While smartphones have almost taken over sales in developed countries, flip phones are still popular in emerging markets, where cell phone use is still taking off. In the United States, for example, smartphones actually account for 75 percent of all cell phone sales.

But globally, smartphone sales slightly trailed feature phones at a rate of 44 percent and 56 percent, respectively, in 2012. It’s also no surprise that the two leading manufacturers of smartphones are Apple and Samsung which, combined, are responsible for 52 percent of the global sales, with Samsung taking the lead.

So who is going to step up and claim the third place position in the smartphone market? It’s anyone’s guess, at this point. According to an analyst at Gartner, a tech research company, “There is no manufacturer that can firmly lay claim to the number three spot in global smartphone sales. The success of Apple and Samsung is based on the strength of their brands as much as their actual products. Their direct competitors, including those with comparable products, struggle to achieve the same brand appreciation among consumers, who, in a tough economic environment, go for cheaper products over brand.”