Trends on Tuesday: Smartphone Growth Reaches 1.3 Billion in 2014

Feb 10, 2015
A pile of different smart phones

Smartphone adoption rate continues to rise, but the screen sizes users adopt continue to evolve.

According to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone vendors shipped a total of 375.2 million units during the fourth quarter of 2014. IDC states that this was an increase of more than 25%, compared to the fourth quarter in 2013. For the full year, IDC says the worldwide smartphone market saw a total of 1.3 billion units shipped, up 27.6% from the 1.02 billion units shipped in 2013.

Rising graph arrow shown above different sizes of smartphones that are getting progressively larger, on an abstract, multi-colored background.

IDC reports that Apple devices saw increased sales partially due to the larger screen sizes made available by the company this year. This demonstrates the popularity of “phablets” over “traditional” sized tablets and smartphones. Screen sizes are going to continue to evolve and challenge organizations to think about different user stories—see how the gaming industry might approach it.

For government, the approach is two-tiered. Agencies implementing mobile Web sites like responsive Web design should conduct compatibility testing across multiple device screen sizes—this is available via the Federal Crowdsource Mobile Testing Program. To prepare for wearables and the Internet of Things, agencies should think about user stories and open data.