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The worldwide smartphone market reached yet another milestone, having shipped one billion units in a single year for the first time, according to the International (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. Vendors shipped a total of 1,004.2 million smartphones worldwide, up 38.4% from the 725.3 million units in 2012.
This aligns with IDC's most recent forecast of 1,010.4 million units, making for a difference of less than 1%. Smartphones accounted for 55.1% of all mobile phone shipments in 2013, up from the 41.7% of all mobile phone shipments in 2012. In the fourth quarter of 2013 (4Q13), vendors shipped a total of 284.4 million smartphones worldwide, up 24.2% from the 229.0 million units shipped in 4Q12.
According to IDC (http://www.idc.com), Samsung ended the quarter the same way it began the year: as the leader in worldwide smartphone shipments. However, even with sustained demand for its Galaxy S III, S4, and Note models, as well as its deep selection of mid-range and entry-level models, the company realized a decline compared to the previous quarter.
Apple posted record shipment volume during 4Q13, driven primarily by the addition of multiple countries offering the iPhone 5S and 5C, and sustained demand from its initial markets that saw these models launch at the end of 3Q13.