A new research report says worldwide shipments of smartphones climbed 36 per cent during the fourth quarter as they supplanted personal computers and other gadgets on holiday shopping lists.
The findings released on Friday by International Data Corp (IDC) are the latest indication of the technology upheaval being wrought by the growing popularity of smartphones that can perform a wide variety of tasks, including surfing the web and taking high-quality photos.
IDC estimates 219 million smartphones were shipped during the final three months of last year. That compares with nearly 161 million in the same 2011 period.
Samsung Electronics Co retained its bragging rights as the smartphone leader, shipping nearly 64 million devices for a 29 per cent share of the global market.
IPhone maker Apple Inc ranked second with a 22 per cent share.