More than 1 billion smartphones were sold in 2013, according to a new study.

Research firm IDC said that Samsung was the world's biggest producer of smartphones, having sold 31.3% of the 1.004 billion smartphones shipped worldwide.

The South Korean tech giant also sold huge numbers of 'dumb' phones, which together with smart phones totalled 1.8 billion sales in 2013.

IDC said it was the first time that more than a billion smartphones were sold, up 38.4% on the previous year.

Second on the global marketshare list was Apple, with 15.3% of smartphones sold - a percentage actually down from its previous mark of 18.7%, despite posting record shipment figures in the last quarter of 2013.

Apple was followed by Huawei (4.9%), LG (4.8%) and Lenovo (4.5%).

"The sheer volume and strong growth attest to the smartphone's continued popularity in 2013," said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team.

"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."

Some of the names more familiar to UK buyers appeared much lower down the list, with HTC, Sony and Nokia making up small shares of the 39.3% of smartphones made by 'other' companies.

However, the BBC pointed out that the IDC figures were only an estimate, and that other research by competing firms suggested just under a billion smartphones were sold last year, with an overall figure of 1.7 billion phones.

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