We talked about the potential 1 billion shipment milestone in September, and the International Data Corporation's estimates showed that it indeed happened in late 2013. In comparison to 2012's shipment figures, this would be a 39 percent jump.

"The sheer volume and strong growth attest to the smartphone's continued popularity in 2013," Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team, said in the news release. "Total smartphone shipments reached 494.4 million units worldwide in 2011, and doubling that volume in just two years demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones."

This is great news for businesses that are looking to expand their marketing presence within the mobile community. If more people have devices with screens and multimedia messaging capabilities, text messaging services have more flexibility in what they can send to SMS subscribers.

However, marketers shouldn't feel pressured to implement a more media-based SMS marketing approach. Just because there are more capabilities, it doesn't mean that companies should feel the need to heavily utilize multimedia messaging services. What has made SMS marketing so effective after all these years is that its simplicity can reach all cell phone users. This includes those who are still operating on 2G, T9 flip phones to the widescreen devices that look like miniature tablets.

What has helped the growth of smartphone use around the world is the fact that the price of these devices has gone down. It is likely that this will be an ongoing mobile trend in 2014, where manufacturers will try to develop the best smartphone for the lowest price. 

"Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many," IDC Program Director Ryan Keith added in the announcement.

Business owners who want to increase customer engagement via text messaging can reach out to Swift SMS Gateway. We can building a mobile text marketing platform that is works within your budget.