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World Gets Smart

This is a big moment, folks. It seems we've officially entered the age of the smartphone.

Though they've existed in some form for many years, smartphones - identified by the ability to install apps, along with other things - didn't really take off until the appearance of the iPhone in 2007. Since then, the proportion of new phones sold which are smartphones has been steadily increasing. Now, it's over half.

According to the latest statistics from Nielsen, smartphones have hit 55% of new phone sales. Dumbphones - 'featurephones' in the jargon - are down to 45%.

Of course, not all smartphones are created equal. 27% of phones are running Google's Android software, and 17% are iPhones. Just 6% are Blackberries, and a tiny 1% are running Microsoft's Windows Phone software.

Of course, this is sales of new phones. If you count all phones people own, smartphones only make up 38%. But that figure, too, is growing quickly.

Will we ever see an all-smartphone market? Probably not, but expect the market to get smarter for a good few years yet.

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