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Smartphones outsell basic mobiles for the first time

Gartner said that in the second quarter 225m smartphones were sold, compared with 210m basic handsets, known in industry jargon as feature phones. Smartphones have outsold feature phones in developed economies such as Britain and the United States for almost two years following the boom sparked by the introduction of Apple's iPhone in 2007. Demand for cheaper feature phones in developing economies has kept their sales higher on a global basis until now, however. Google's Android operating system extended its lead as the most popular smartphone software in the second quarter, Gartner said. Some 79pc of smartphones sold were based on it, up from 64.2pc in the same period a year ago. A slew of cheap Android handsets from Chinese brands, some costing less than $100, has helped smartphones overtake feature phones, via growth in developing markets. Apple's iOS software, which runs on the iPhone, accounted for 14.2pc of global sales, down from 18.8pc last year. The company has long been rumoured to have a cheaper version of the iPhone in development to respond to Android's growth at the lower end of the market.

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