Mobile phone shipments in Western Europe increased 2.6% during the second quarter of 2013 to 43.3 million, according to a new report.
IDC's Europe, Middle East and Africa Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker revealed that shipments for feature phones dropped 27% to 10.7 million, while smartphones captured 75% of overall shipments, reporting a 19% rise to 32.6 million units.
Francisco Jeronimo, a research director at IDC, said that the Western European market continues to suffer from a tough economic environment, although this does not prevent mobile operators from pushing handsets that could drive higher revenues in the future.
"One important fact worth noting this quarter was that LTE already represented 32% of total mobile phone shipments and 43% of total smartphone shipments," Jeronimo said.
"Although most consumers do not subscribe yet to an LTE data plan when renewing their smartphones, it is important for mobile operators to enable their users with LTE handsets while the expansion of their LTE networks continues.
"When the networks are widely available geographically it will be faster to migrate users to an LTE data plan as they become cheaper."
The report stressed that Q3 was the region's weakest quarter in the past two years, as mobile operators have been more careful adding new devices for the Christmas campaigns.
Android topped the list of operating systems with its shipments rising 29% to 23.2 million and capturing 71% of market share, followed by Apple's iOS (17.4%) and Windows Phones (6.3%).
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