Smartphone Shipments Finally Leapfrog Feature Phones

You can have our smartphone when you pry it from our cold, dead hands. Yes, we're well aware that some people feel the exact same way about feature phones, but for the first time ever, those of us who prefer a full-fledged smartphone finally outnumber our feature phone touting brethren, according to data released by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Mobile phone shipments as a whole grew 4 percent year-over-year in the seasonally slow first quarter of 2013, which saw vendors ship a total of 418.6 million units. Out of those shipments, IDC counted 216.2 million smartphones, marking the first time that smartphone devices accounted for more than half.

Samsung Galaxy S4

"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."

Not surprisingly, Samsung was the most active smartphone shipper, and by a wide margin. The South Korean handset maker shipped more smartphones than the next four vendors combined (Apple, LG, Huawei, and ZTE), IDC said.