Some 1.02bn smartphones were sold around the world in 2013 - a rise of 43 per cent on 2012 figures - although tablets are growing faster, according to specialist market analyst Futuresource Consulting.
Oliver Rowntree, market analyst at Futuresource, said the smartphone market's continued growth has been driven by demand in emerging markets, particularly Asia. China accounted for the largest share, buying 310m units, mostly Chinese brands such as Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, Xiaomi and Coolpad.
However, tablets sold even better globally in growth rate terms, although obviously from a much smaller base.
"Tablets saw even stronger year-on-year growth than smartphones, with shipments growing 57 per cent to 243m units," Rowntree said."Strong Q4 sales helped drive annual growth. Ninety million units were shipped from October to December - an increase of 32 per cent over 2012."
Among international brands, Apple and Samsung remained dominant, accounting for 47 per cent of the market between them. However, overall market growth continues to be propelled by cheap, white-labelled tablets from China - accounting for 36 per cent of annual shipments.
"These cheap devices have also driven down the cost of branded Android tablets, with international brands such as Acer, Lenovo and Asus competing to produce sub-$100 (£61) tablets to expand their market share. Futuresource expects tablet market growth to slow slightly to 31 per cent in 2014 as prices level out, reaching 317m units," said Rowntree.
So-called phablets - which Futuresource defined as smartphones with 5in to 7in screens - also became more popular in 2013, he said.
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