Smartphones Out-Shipped Feature Phones For The First Time Ever In Q1 2013 [Report]

While smartphone have really taken off since Apple launched the iPhone back in 2007, believe it or not, traditional feature phones have remained the biggest sellers worldwide. That was until the first quarter of 2013, when smartphones out-shipped feature phones for the first time ever.

Of the 418.6 million cellphones sold during the first three months of the year, 51.6% of them were smartphones, according to new figures from IDC.

“Phone users want computers in their pockets. The days where phones are used primarily to make phone calls and send text messages are quickly fading away,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

“As a result, the balance of smartphone power has shifted to phone makers that are most dependent on smartphones.”

In total, 216.2 million smartphones were sold during the first quarter. 70.7 million of those were manufactured by Samsung, while 37.4 million were manufactured by Apple. LG remains a distant third with 10.3 million, followed by Huawei with 9.9 million, and ZTE with 9.1 million.

When you include feature phone sales as well, Samsung remains the biggest seller with 115 million shipments, while Nokia takes second place with 61.9 million shipments. Apple holds third place with 37.6 million, LG sits in fourth with 15.4 million, and ZTE takes fifth with 13.5 million.

Samsung improved its lead over Apple when it comes to smartphone shipments, jumping from a 29% share during Q4 2012 to a 32.7% share in Q1 2013. Apple’s share slipped from 21.8% to 17.3%, while Sony dropped out of the top five altogether, making way for ZTE.

This year’s figures show that Chinese manufacturers, including Huawei and ZTE, are slowly gaining traction in the smartphone market thanks to their affordable devices aimed at emerging markets.

Source: IDC

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Smartphones Out-Shipped Feature Phones For The First Time Ever In Q1 2013 [Report]

Cult Of Android Will Be At MWC Next Week — Here’s What You Can Expect

Barcelona’s Fira Gran Via — the home of MWC 2013.

Cult of Android will soon be on its way to Barcelona for this year’s Mobile World Congress — which kicks off Sunday, February 24 — where we’re expecting a whole host of announcements regarding new smartphones, tablets, apps, and accessories. More than 65,000 people will attend the event, and they’re all there for one thing: to see what’s on the horizon in the world of mobile for 2013.

We’re expecting new devices from Samsung, LG, ZTE, Huawei, Nokia, Asus, and more — and you can follow all of our coverage from here. In the meantime, here’s what you can look forward to.

Samsung

Galaxy Note 8.0

Samsung has already confirmed it will unveil the Galaxy Note 8.0 at MWC. The device will be a direct competitor to the iPad mini, and it’s expected to offer an 8-inch display with a 1280×800 resolution, a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB or 32GB of internal storage — which will likely be expandable via microSD.

A leaked Galaxy Note 8.0.

We’ve already seen images of the device in the wild, and it looks just like a giant Galaxy S III. However, a recent report claimed that this was not the Galaxy Note 8.0′s final design, and that the real thing will look more like the upcoming Galaxy S IV.

Galaxy Tab 3

Some reports have claimed that the Galaxy Note 8.0 won’t be the only Samsung tablet at MWC, and that the Korean electronics giant will unveil a whole range of Galaxy Tab 3 slates, including 7-, 8-, and 10-inch models. The Galaxy Tab 2 range was announced roughly 12 months ago, so it’s certainly plausible.

Galaxy Smartphones

We’re also expecting Samsung to announce a number of new Galaxy smartphones, but before you get too excited, we know one of them won’t be the Galaxy S IV. Instead, we’re expected entry-level devices aimed at the budget-conscious consumer and those in emerging markets. Having said that, there’s every change the company could surprise us.

Asus

Asus has already unveiled a number of tablet offerings in recent weeks, including the MeMO Pad 7 — a budget Nexus 7 clone — that was announced just after the Consumer Electronics Show back in January; and thethe 10-inch MeMO Pad Smart, which was announced earlier this month.

Rumors have suggested Asus is also planning an even cheaper slate, which will be priced around the $99 mark. However, it’s hard to imagine how it could build a device that’s more affordable than the MeMO Pad 7 and actually worth purchasing. But maybe another high-end tablet is on the cards.

Asus published a video earlier this week that teases a “metallic miracle” — check it out below.

LG

LG has been teasing a number of devices for MWC, and the company has published videos promising a “breakthrough.” It’s already unveiled two of the handsets that will be on show — the Optimus F5 and the Optimus F7 — but we know the company has more up its sleeve.

And given that it’s calling it a “breakthrough,” we’re expecting something rather special. Some believe that LG will announce a new Optimus Vu, a successor to its 5-inch “phablet” that was first released last August, but its recent unveiling of the 5.5-inch Optimus G Pro could rule that out.

Maybe we’ll see that white Nexus 4 that was leaked back in January. (Please, LG!)

Sony

Sony announced its flagship Xperia Z at CES back in January, and the impressive Xperia Tablet Z sooner after — but the Japanese company has scheduled a press conference for MWC, so we know it has something up its sleeve. Expect to see entry-level and midrange smartphones, and possibly a midrange tablet counterpart, too.

Huawei

Huawei has promised that it will be announcing two new devices at MWC, but it’s given us no indication to what those could be. We’re pretty sure, however, that one of them will be the Ascend P2, a high-end Android-powered smartphone that will offer a 4.5-inch 1080p display, a quad-core processor, and a 13-megapixel camera — according to the rumors.

ZTE

ZTE is expected to unveil a stack of devices at MWC, including an eight-core smartphone that could well steal the show. We’re also expecting the 5.7-inch Grand Memo, an even larger version of its Grand S phablet, which is rumored to offer a 1.7GHz quad-core display, and a 13-megapixel camera.

ZTE will also be unveiling a new smartphone powered by Mozilla’s Firefox OS, so it’ll be interesting to see what that brings to the table.

Join Us!

As you can see, there’s going to be plenty on show at MWC next week. It’s the biggest mobile show of the year, and although some big names have decided to avoid it, there are plenty of others who can’t wait to show us their latest devices.

Be sure to follow Cult of Android throughout the week for the announcements and hands-on coverage. You can quickly find all of our posts from MWC by using the “MWC 2013″ tag.

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Cult Of Android Will Be At MWC Next Week — Here’s What You Can Expect

Apple’s $330 ‘iPhone Mini’ Could Launch As Early As This Summer [Analyst]

Apple could launch its $330 “iPhone mini” as early as this summer to boost the company’s smartphone sales in China, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. It’s expected the low-cost device could provide Apple with an additional 20% of the smartphone market, adding to the 10% it has already claimed with the iPhone 5. And with smartphone prices now beginning to stabilize in China, now would be an ideal time for such a device.

However, Huberty believes a deal with China Mobile is key to Apple’s success. The iPhone is already available through China Unicom and China Telecom, but Apple is yet to strike a deal with China Mobile, which is the world’s largest carrier with over 800 million subscribers. Given that deep subscriber base, the deal could be a massive avenue of growth for the iPhone.

“We believe Apple could launch iPhone Mini at $330 (about Rmb 2,000), in-line with flagship products in China from Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, and Coolpad,” Huberty said in an investors note on Tuesday. ”Even in a scenario of low 40 percent gross margin and 1/3 iPhone cannibalization rate (flattening legacy iPhone shipment growth), which we view as conservative, the iPhone Mini adds incremental revenue and gross profit dollars.”

$330 would be the unlocked price for the so-called iPhone mini in China, according to Huberty, which means it could be even cheaper on contract. It’s also expected to target emerging markets beyond China, but it’s unclear whether it would be available in markets like the U.S. and Europe, where Apple enjoys a lot of success with the existing iPhone.

Rumors surrounding a low-cost iPhone gained traction back in January, when both The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported that the device would launch before the end of 2013. It’s also been a big talking point for analysts, who believe Apple needs to launch such a device to grow in key markets, and do battle with rivals like Samsung.

Via: CNET

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Apple’s $330 ‘iPhone Mini’ Could Launch As Early As This Summer [Analyst]