April 26, 2013 at 3:32 PM ET
A new report on the mobile phone industry shows that for the first time ever, there are more smartphones being shipped worldwide than feature phones. Samsung and Apple are leading the charge.
The first quarter of the year is as slow as it usually is, according to the IDC report, but this particular Winter quarter is a special one. Of the approximately 418.6 million mobile phones shipped in the first three months of 2013, 216.2 million were smartphones — an historic 51.6 percent.
The United States is a bit ahead of the curve: At least two-thirds of all phones bought here are smartphones. In populous and economically booming countries like China and India, however, smartphone uptake is still rising. This growth accounts for the massive 41.6 percent rise in the number of smartphones shipped over the last year.
Samsung is in the lead by a huge margin, having shipped over 70 million handsets in the first quarter. In second place, there's Apple, with a respectable 37 million — and then a host of smaller manufacturers: LG< Huawei, ZTE, and "Others" such as HTC, Blackberry, and Motorola.
Nokia is still selling scores of millions of phones, but their market share is shrinking fast and their total absence from the smartphone charts indicates rough times ahead.
More analysis of the statistics can be found in the report itself.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.