IDC Smartphone Shipments Reach Greatest Milestone to DateNew industry data from IDC indicates that the global smartphone market reached yet another milestone last year, having shipped one billion units in a single year for the first time.

Confirmed January 28th in the most recent update to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped just north of one billion smartphones worldwide, up 38.4% from the 725.3 million units shipped in 2012.

“The sheer volume and strong growth attest to the smartphone’s continued popularity in 2013,” explains Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “Total smartphone shipments reached 494.4 million units worldwide in 2011, and doubling that volume in just two years demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones.”

Smartphones accounted for 55.1% of all mobile phone shipments in 2013, up from the 41.7% of all mobile phone shipments in 2012.

“Among the top trends driving smartphone growth are large screen devices and low cost,” adds Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. “Of the two, I have to say that low cost is the key difference maker. Cheap devices are not the attractive segment that normally grabs headlines, but IDC data shows this is the portion of the market that is driving volume. Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many.”