Are people still buying smartphones?

It seems that the popularity of smartphones is showing little sign of slowing down, as shipments have continued to rise across the globe.

Figures from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker show 301.3 million smartphones were shipped globally in the second quarter of the year.

This marks a rise of 25.3 per cent compared to the same period of 2013, suggesting that people are still keen to compare phone plans and make sure they have the latest models.

Android and iOS lead the pack

Once again, smartphones operating on the Android and iOS systems proved the most popular across the globe.

These two operating systems alone accounted for 96.4 per cent of all sales during the three-month period, with their competitors being left in the shadows.

Android shipments were up 33.3 per cent year-on-year, with a total of 255.3 million handsets sent out to customers during the quarter.

On the other hand, iOS witnessed a fall in its market share even though its shipments were up 12.7 per cent compared to the same period of 2013.

Windows Phones haven't made much of an impression on consumers, the IDC found, as despite being around for about four years, they're still yet to achieve 5 per cent of the market.

Shipment volumes of Windows Phones were down slightly from the previous year but were nevertheless up slightly from the preceding quarter.

BlackBerry had experienced three quarters of decline, but volumes are now starting to rebound slightly. Shipment levels are still 78 per cent lower than they were 12 months ago.

Some headway is being made in key markets and especially in the Asia-Pacific region, so the brand could be in for a resurgence here in Australia.

Smartphone users are price-savvy

Price seems to be one of the biggest factors that smartphone users are taking into consideration, as the IDC has witnessed a rise in interest for low-cost handsets.

Android has seen its success rise in emerging markets where handsets valued at less than $200 have witnessed a particular surge in popularity.

Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team, said: "58.6 per cent of all Android smartphone shipments worldwide cost less than $200 off contract, making them very attractive compared to other devices.

"With the recent introduction of Android One, in which Google offers reference designs below $100 to Android original equipment manufacturers, the proportion of sub-$200 volumes will climb even higher."

Posted by Richard West