Smart Phone Sales Eclipse Feature Phones


According to a new report from industry analysts,smart phones have outsold feature phones for the first time ever. From April through June of this year there were 435 million cell phones sold worldwide and of that number, 225 million were smart phones. That’s up a whopping 46.5 percent from this time last year and at the same time feature phone sales dropped 21 percent.

Analysts think the change is due to a number of factors that include cheaper handsets, lower and fixed prices for data plans and aggressive marketing. The fastest smartphone growth is coming from Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. The leading brands for smartphone sales are Samsung followed by Apple, LG, Lenovo, ZTE and others. Another interesting note from the survey was that for the first time ever, Windows based smartphones outsold Blackberry phones.

For Android and Apple, the future looks pretty bright but feature phones will likely end up either dying out altogether or being highly marginalized and tough to sell within the next 5-10 years. At the moment, higher data costs are still keeping smart phones out of the hands of people with low incomes, but I suspect that will be changing. Competition, at least here in the U.S has already resulted in lower data rates and as we move forward and cell networks continue to speed up, prices will have to drop or smart phones will hit a wall in terms of sales.

For instance Verizon currently charges $30 per month for their 2GB plan for smartphone data. That’s on top of the standard phone plan, which makes a Verizon smartphone pretty pricey. By comparison, some of the smaller pay as you go companies are offering unlimited talk text and data for $50 per month with no contract.

If AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile all start to compete with that sort of price point in mind, I suspect we’ll see smart phones become the norm in the not too distant future.

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