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Smartphones overtake 'dumb' phones worldwide

Published: Saturday, Aug. 1 2015 10:57 a.m. MDT

Thorsten Heins, CEO of Research in Motion, which is changing its name to BlackBerry, introduces the BlackBerry 10, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 in New York.  (Mark Lennihan, AP) Thorsten Heins, CEO of Research in Motion, which is changing its name to BlackBerry, introduces the BlackBerry 10, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 in New York. (Mark Lennihan, AP)

NEW YORK — A research firm says that more smartphones than 'dumb' phones are being made this year, a milestone in a shift that's putting computing power and Internet access in millions of hands worldwide.

IDC says manufacturers shipped 216 million smartphones worldwide in the first three months of this year, compared with 189 million regular cellphones.

In the U.S., smartphones overtook regular cellphones in 2011. IDC analyst Ramon Llamas says the shift to a global majority of smartphones is now being driven by consumers in developing countries such as China, India and Indonesia.

Another firm, ABI Research, found that smartphones made up 49 percent of shipments in the first quarter. Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest phone maker, doesn't provide a breakdown of its phone shipments, and analysts vary in their estimates.

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