SEOUL, Jun. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of feature phone users in South Korea fell below the 7-million mark as of April, government data showed Tuesday, as smartphones continue to solidify their hold on the local market.
According to the data compiled by the Ministry of Science and ICT, there were 6.9 million users of feature phones in South Korea as of April, down 1.6 percent from a month earlier.
The figure, which stood at 12.1 million as of end-2014, fell to the 7-million level in July 2017.
The combined number of handset users, including smartphones, came to 56.5 million as of end-April, the data also showed. Of that number, smartphone users accounted for 49.6 million.
Industry watchers said while there is still demand for handsets with only basic features, especially from users from the low-income bracket and students, the overall transition from feature phones to smartphones will continue.
“Handset manufactures and mobile carriers are releasing new products with the latest functions to meet existing demand for feature phones, but they will not really impact the market currently dominated by smartphones,” an industry watcher said.