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1.2 billion smartphones sold in 2014, slowdown in growth seen for 2015

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1.2 billion smartphones sold in 2014, slowdown in growth seen for 2015
According to Germany's GfK, a total of 1.2 billion smartphones were sold in 2014. That is a gain of 23% for the year. But the market and consumer information firm sees sales growth dropping to 14% in 2015. That would result in a total of 1.368 billion units sold this year. Interestingly, at the beginning of 2014 feature phone sales still out numbered those for smartphones. By the end of the year, many of those feature phone users had taken the plunge with an Android smartphone.

GfK tracks sales rather than shipments, and the data showed that for the fourth quarter sales surged 43% in Latin America from 25.1 million in 2013, to 36 million in the 2014 quarter. The Emerging Asian and Pacific market had the next best quarter, up 37%. That was followed by the 35% gain in the Middle East and Africa. In North America, fourth quarter smartphone sales rose 31% from 43.6 million in 2013 to 57 million last year. At 95.1 million units, China had the most smartphone sales which was flat with the 95 million sold in the prior year. Overall, 346.5 million smartphones were sold in Q4 of 2014 a 19% hike from 2013's 292 million.

For the entire year, the biggest gain also came from Latin America. 2014 saw smartphone sales in the region hit 109.5 million, up 59% from the 68.7 million sold in 2013. That narrowly beat out the 55% gain year-over-year seen in the Emerging Asian Pacific market. Central and Eastern Europe saw its smartphone sales rise 37%. In North America, smartphone sales climbed 28% in 2014 to 177.6 million from 139.1 million. China had the largest number of smartphones sold last year at 392.8 million. That was a 9% rise from the 359 million that were rung up in 2013.

Smartphones with a 5-inch screen or larger saw sales rise 180% in 2014 and is the reason for the decline in tablet sales. GfK sees these large-screened phones as being the largest segment of the industry in 2015.


source: GfK via TechCrunch
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