Global smartphone sales overtake feature phones

Smartphone sales have increased by 46.5 per cent between April and June, overtaking the sale of more traditional handsets for the first time ever. Total worldwide sales grew by 3.6 per cent, reaching 435m units, of which 225 were smartphones.

Samsung dominated the market with a market share of more than 30 per cent, more than double Apple’s 14 per cent.

Rob Hodges, of phone retailer e2save, says: “We’ve seen a dramatic shift in the smartphone/feature phone mix. Currently over 90 per cent of our sales are smartphones. Just three years ago, the smartphone segment was a mere 40 per cent.”

Smartphones have seriously changed the way we live and work, allowing us to do more on the go and stay better connected with friends and colleagues.

From this data it seems clear that businesses need to be more conscious of how they integrate mobile phones into their operations.

Stephen Ebbett, of gadget insurer Protect Your Bubble, says: “With more and more businesses accommodating the ‘bring your own device’ trend amongst employees, and remote working on the increase enabled by mobile technology, its no wonder people are falling out love with humble mobile handsets.

“Business owners and employees increasingly want devices that can help them do everything whilst on the go – from emailing to connecting with contacts via LinkedIn and Skype, to apps that can help them keep track of expenses and finances. Connected mobile devices have clear advantages, and price is no longer a limiting factor.”

The shift also has marketing implications. Smartphones create a vast amount of opportunities for mobile marketing, from apps to mobile-optimised websites and email marketing.

Paresh Ghandi, consultant at digital agency Rockpool, says: “Mobile is now less about the channel and more about brands focusing on the needs of their customers. Mobile contextualise this experience in a way that no other channel has evolved. We were previously on the curve but companies without a mobile-first approach we will be left behind.”

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