Smartphone sales exceeded feature phone sales for the first time in the April-to-June period, according to research firm Gartner. Worldwide mobile phone sales totalled 435 million units. Smartphone sales accounted for 225 million units, up 46.5% from the previous year.
Feature phones totalled 210 million units, down 21%. The highest smartphone growth rates came from Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, the firm said.
A smartphone is commonly defined as a device that has built-in applications and can connect to the internet. In contrast, feature phones tend to perform fewer functions and are priced more cheaply.
"Smartphones accounted for 51.8% of mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in smartphone sales surpassing feature phone sales for the first time," said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.
However, a competing firm, IDC, said this milestone had already been reached in the first three months of 2013.
However, some analysts said that the price of entry-level smartphones has come down sharply over the past few months, resulting in a major sales boost.