Feature Phones – Beginning of the End; Samsung is King of Smartphones

Smartphone vendors shipped 216.2 million units in the first quarter of 2013, the first time that over half the total phone shipments in a quarter were smartphones.

In the first quarter, smartphones accounted for 51.6% of all mobile phone shipments, according to market researcher IDC.

Chinese Danger

In a distressing development, two Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE are among the top five smartphone vendors.

Given that Chinese brands operate completely under the diktat of the government, it’s not unrealistic to expect the military will force manufacturers to install backdoor exploits on smartphones meant for countries like India.

Unlike feature phones, smartphones can “call home” for updates via the Internet and can be exploited by the Chinese government and military for nefarious ends.

Indians are better off buying South Korean smartphones or Apple if they can afford it.

Smartphones Shipments & Market Share in Q1 2013 - image © SearchIndia.com

Beginning of End

Higher shipments of smartphones vis-a-vis feature phones in Q1 is a landmark event in the mobile phone business as it heralds the looming replacement of a single purpose device (phone) by a multipurpose device (computer).

I cannot imagine feature phones being around for more than two years.

Users are no longer content to have a device in their pockets or bags that can only make and receive phone calls.

Consumers want a phone that can browse the web, take high-quality pictures, send and receive e-mail and text, give them the weather, serve as a GPS, play music and video and do a thousand other things.

In short, mobile phone users want a computer in their pocket. After all, that’s exactly what a smartphone is – a mini-computer that also doubles as a phone.

Samsung is King

Samsung continued its leadership of the smartphone business with a market share more than that of the next four vendors combined.

Samsung shipped 70.7 million smartphones to Apple’s 37.4 million.

Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 smartphone, which has just started shipping, will help to extend its lead over Apple.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Hey, does anyone believe Blackberry or Windows phones will be around in three years. I’m not betting on them.

All Mobile Phones

Sales of all mobile phones, which include both smartphones and feature phones, were 418.6 million units in the first quarter.

Samsung was the leader in the overall mobile phone shipments too.

Mobile Phone Shipments & Market Share Q1 2013 - image © SearchIndia.com

9 Responses to "Feature Phones – Beginning of the End; Samsung is King of Smartphones"

  1. rmadasu   April 26, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I am wondering if it isn’t possible for some national agency to check a few Chinese phones randomly to see if there is some kind of back door security leak installed by the phone company?

    I am sure something like this can be done in India as well, after all this is a widely used consumer product and the government has to make sure that it is fairly secure.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    China will prove to be a big thorn in India’s flesh.

    China has infiltrated India’s territory, infiltrated our consumer products market, our labor market….

    Unfortunately, India is too weak to tackle China.

    The only way for India to contain China is to join hands with the U.S.

    Depressing Newshttp://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Chinese-troops-have-erected-tents-19km-inside-Indian-territory-Govt/articleshow/19742415.cms

  2. boopalanj   April 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Now, think of all this huge piles of phones, with tablets, ipods, mp3 players, computers, mobile phone towers, and extra electronic gadgets creating an everlasting electromagnetic field around each one of us!

    How does each phone get disposed when it stops functioning? Is it recycled?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: How does each phone get disposed when it stops functioning? Is it recycled?

    Don’t worry, sweetie.

    We’ll send our old cell phones, PCs, laptops, tablets and other electronic junk to the landfills in your country. – http://www.toxicslink.org/?q=media/press-releases/india-now-officially-open-e-waste-dump-destination

    We already send our big, old ships to Gujarat for ship-breaking. – http://www.unesco.org/csi/act/india/IndiaGujR.pdf

    We already use your people as guinea pigs for our pharma trials – http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-04-25/india/38816045_1_rivaroxaban-new-drugs-clinical-trial

    Most likely, we already dump our hospital and bio-medical waste on your soil.

    If you take our tons and tons of nuclear waste, we’ll give you a discount on the nuclear fuel.

    Now take a deep breath! 😉

  3. vedagiris   April 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    1. Samsung, previously used to make great mobiles such as Samsung galaxy s2 (good looks and exceptional performance at the time of its release), Omnia W (it possessed some of goodies which Nokia didn’t had it when it was released) and so on. But Now, its riding on Brand name. One of recent mid range mobile handsets from Samsung is Samsung Grand Duos which is available at 21,000 INR.

    Samsung Grand duos find itself beaten badly by Mobiles which are comparatively less priced. http://www.fonearena.com/blog/65935/micromax-a116-canvas-hd-benchmarks.html

    Unless it makes a great mobile within one or two years, it will soon find losing its sales and will continue a downward spiral.

    Nokia will soon relegate to worse levels, as there is no strong competitor from Nokia to other mobiles (from other companies) in high-end and mid range segments. Also, initially, its alignment with Windows might look good, but it won’t recover any major ground in next coming years.

    The major bottleneck to Apple not occupying top spot is lack of customization. Otherwise, Apple scores over Android in all aspects of Software.

    Next coming years will be interesting for Consumers, as all these electronic giants will fight it over to provide consumers better products at low prices.

    2. India has already became a destination for Garbage in all aspects of Life. Only garbage movies are patronized here, garbage products sell here well and garbage people are considered as role models etc.

    Majority of People lack any standards (even if they are super rich); so it is not new to find Western Countries dumping their Garbage in India.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. Microsoft/Nokia and Blackberry have no hope in the mobile phone business.

    Microsoft was too late to the smartphone party with a decent phone and Blackberry underestimated the challenge from Apple and touchscreen devices.

    Steve Ballmer should have been booted out eons back.

    The challenge and mettle of a great leader is not how well you do when you’re a monopolist (Windows, Office) but how well you do when you’re an underdog (mobile arena).

    That’s where Apple/Steve Jobs scored high marks.

    When Apple/Steve launched iPhone, iPad, iPod and iTunes, Apple was either the underdog (mobile phones) or the category (iPad, iPod, iTunes) did not exist.

    Ballmer/Microsoft succeeded as long as the company was dependent on the core Windows/Office franchise or products that were hooked to these two like IE to Windows in the late 1990s.

    2. I don’t think the majority of Apple/iPhone users are concerned about the device’s supposed “lack of customization.”

    User satisfaction is still high among iPhone owners. There were some surveys too about that but I can’t find the link now.

    But the jury is still out on whether Apple can continue to keep the innovation train chugging.

    3. You write: India has already became a destination for Garbage in all aspects of Life. Only garbage movies are patronized here, garbage products sell here well and garbage people are considered as role models etc.

    The above line is a strong contender for the Best Comment of 2013 award! 😉 Seriously!

    India is like its people, Indians. A weak, effete nation.

    That’s why every chutiya externally (Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka etc) and every Chutiyas internally kicks India around!

    China is respected because it’s not scared to respond fiercely – whether externally (territorial war against India, cyber-war against USA etc) or internally (Tienanmen Square) – to the slightest challenge.

    In the brutal, Darwinian world we live in, morality and restraint are the defense of pussies!

    India must remember that Wrong becomes Right when it succeeds!

    India will earn the respect of the world when it drops a nuclear bomb on Pakistan (Islamabad and Karachi) and China (Beijing and Shanghai)

    • vedagiris   April 27, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      Regarding Darwin Theory, Indians apply “Survival of fittest” only to their fellow countrymen (in form of racism, casteism, etc.,), they can’t do the same thing against Others(Pakirisamy, China).

      They lack conviction to be world beaters.The Society never lay emphasis on Higher ideals. They will continue to remain as dump yard for years to come.

  4. Madmax673   April 27, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Off topic:

    Had this beer called “Dubhe” IPA (9.2% ABV) last night. Gawd it tasted awful!! Had to rinse my mouth with Budweiser after all.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Sweetie, here you go:



    • Madmax673   April 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      I did it once and I am gonna risk it again with “Hop’solutely” (11.5% ABV)

      I was actually looking for ‘Maudite’. They didn’t carry it though 🙁

      I think the hemp was what made Dubhe taste the way it did.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Reviews plus high alcohol content make Hop’solutely look interesting!


      Just opened my trusted Guinness Extra Stout!

      • Madmax673   April 27, 2013 at 9:18 pm

        Just Opening Hop’solutely.

        “Thuninthavanukku thooku maedai Panju metthai”!

  5. Madmax673   April 27, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Not as bad as Dubhe but still…an IPA.

  6. boopalanj   April 28, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Did it miss to get your attention lately?


    Applications are beyond imagination.

    – With the state of internet now, it will surely move beyond the scope of just “partners”. Strangers are going to let other counterparts have wet vibrations.
    – Now groups can start to form where people come and get “fingered” by a group.
    – Now the bozos at carbonated-drinks companies can rope in a celebrity to ‘virtually-finger’ all those who bought their drinks, at a certain time.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    I feel like…I feel like…OMG…I feel like…OMG….It’s tickling…Aah…Ohhh…It’s tickling…I can’t concentrate 😉

    Interesting link. Thanks!

    True, sky is the limit with the potential of apps. They’re now entering “virgin” terrain.

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