Handset makers shipped 212.3 million features – that cost around $100 – last year in India.
Middle East and Africa region saw shipments of 150 million in 2013.
$100 feature phone shipment in the Asia Pacific region – excluding India, China and Japan – was 140.7 million, while Latin America saw 76.4 million phones.
Emerging markets in Asia/Pacific outside of China, together with the Middle East and Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America, account for four fifths of the global feature phone market, according to IDC data.
Some 660 million feature phones were shipped last year, which could add two thirds to the size of the current global smartphone market.
India will be key to future smartphone growth as it represents more than a quarter of the global feature phone market.
“Growth in the India market doesn’t rely on high-end devices like the iPhone, but in low-cost Android phones. Nearly half of the smartphones shipped in India in 2013 cost less than $120,” said Kiranjeet Kaur, senior market analyst for mobile phones at IDC Asia/Pacific.
China boom slowing down
In 2013 the worldwide smartphone market surpassed 1 billion units shipped, up from 752 million in 2012. This boom has been mainly powered by the China market, which has tripled in size over the last three years. China accounted for one out of every three smartphones shipped around the world in 2013, equaling 351 million units.
IDC noted that the surge in growth has started to slow as smartphones already account for over 80 percent of China’s total phone sales. China is becoming like more mature markets in North America and Western Europe, where smartphone sales growth is slackening off.
The next half billion smartphone customers will increasingly come mainly from poorer emerging markets, notably India and in Africa.