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Ten years ago, the term “smartphone” may not have meant anything to anyone, but the tides have been turning and soon the old “feature phone” may be the unfamiliar term, lost behind overwhelming sales of the former.
In February, research firm Gartner showed global smartphone sales growing in 2012, despite mobile phone sales declining. The logical, and demonstrated, explanation was that feature phones were the weak link. Sales of the less-smart devices fell in 2012, and Gartner predicted they would continue to decline in 2013, with global smartphone sales overtaking them. If Gartner’s analysis wasn’t enough, IDC has now offered a similar view of the future parity between smartphones and feature phones.
IDC data shows that feature phones maintained higher global sales than smartphones in 2012, but forecasts that 2013 will be the year the roles flip. Manufacturers are predicted to ship 918.6 million smartphones to make up 50.1 percent of the industry’s total distribution of phones…
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