Twilight: death of the feature phone

Five years ago being a cellphone applications developer was a nightmare- there were a zillion brands and models each with different specifications and requirements. There was only one clear distinctive feature some phones had Java and some did not.Developing mobile phone websites was not really easy either; most phones had different browsers and screens sizes. This all changed when Android and iOS started their quest for world domination. It is little wonder therefore that clairvoyant people among us have been calling for the year of the smartphone for a while now.

According to the research firm, Gartner, 2013 is the year of the smartphone. It seems for the first time more smartphones, 225 million handsets, were shipped as compared to feature phones in the second quarter of 2013. These translated to about 51% of the total cellphone shipments of 435 million handsets.


Summary of insights.

  • The number of phones shipped increased by 3.6% this might be a result of more adoption in developing nations such as Zimbabwe or perhaps just husbands and their small houses buying second phones.

  • Samsung is still the top smartphone seller with 32% of the market followed by Apple, LG, Lenovo (weird we know), ZTE and the rest of the pack.

  • Now we finally have all the proof we want to prove that Windows Phone is the third most popular phone Operating System ahead of Blackberry.

  • Apparently Blackberry shipped more phones than Nokia’s Symbian. I don’t suppose those phones were headed for Zimbabwe though because even without a survey we surely have more X2s and Nokia Ashas than Blackberrys.

  • Android has 79% of the smartphone market, iOS 14% and the rest about 7%. So Android and iPhone apps ought to do the trick but you have to develop a Symbian app as well if you are targeting the Zimbabwean market.

  • It has been a hard year for Nokia but they were second after Samsung in terms of actual sales to users so they are not as done as people think.

  • Samsung is the Android mascot.

It is difficult to gauge how applicable these figures are to the Zimbabwean market and I would be persuaded to think there are some differences especially on the Nokia front. Nokia is still very much popular here and it is doubtful if smartphone shipments into the country really outstripped all those cheap Chinese imitations. Zimbabwe is a land of scarce statistics. One thing is clear however: the year of the smartphone is nigh and you should be prepared lest you should be caught unawares.

Picture: Teltarif

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2 thoughts on “Twilight: death of the feature phone

  1. What of all them G-Tel devices being sold on credit? Whatsapp rules…so Nokia Symbian is next best thing!

  2. There is nothing wrong with lenovo being among those brands it makes powerful machines. #thoughtyouweretechnicalenough

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