Facebook released some new statistics about its mobile usage, and revealed that it now has 100 million monthly active users who access Facebook’s app on feature phones – showing particularly large growth among users in countries like India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Though Facebook is at over 1 billion active users around the world, the company is looking to expand its global profile, and in positioning itself as a viable product for feature phones, Facebook has access to nearly all of the 418.6 million handsets shipped during the first quarter of 2013. Facebook presently runs on over 3,000 different types of feature phones, so the data isn’t surprising, but it puts Facebook in the unique position of ensuring that the next global generation are already Facebook users, irrespective of the phone they own.
Foursquare unveiled a new app yesterday designed for feature phones – specifically Nokia’s Series 40 handsets. Feature phones are popular amongst non-tech savvy users looking for a simpler product, as well as abroad in developing markets; indeed, in 2011, feature phones accounted for 70% of mobile phone sales worldwide, and Nokia says it sold 1.5 billion units of these S40 phones. Foursquare is trying to edge into this market by getting its service pre-loaded on new devices when they hit the market in several months – and hopes to make checking in a fact of life for the many people who are just getting used to technology in their lives.
For the first time ever, there are more shipments of Smartphones than feature phones worldwide in the first quarter of the year, according to a new report from IDC. There were 418.6 million mobile phones shipped worldwide in the March quarter, 216.2 million of which were Smartphones. Not only was this the first time that Smartphones outpaced feature phones, it was also the first time ever that Smartphones represented more than half of the global market. Smartphone shipments increased by more than 40% year-over-year. Much of the growth of Smartphone shipments are taking place in emerging markets like China, Brazil, and India, where the concept of a ‘phone’ as a device that simply makes calls is rapidly vanishing with these nations’ development.