Smartphone shipments now outnumber those of “regular” cell phones worldwide.
It’s the first time smartphones — that is, phones capable of computing and Web access — have outnumbered ordinary cell phones on a global scale. Here in the United States, smartphone shipments surpassed ordinary cell phones back in 2011 .
The International Data Corporation , a global marketing intelligence firm, says 51 percent of the mobile phones shipped out in the first quarter of this year were smartphones. That’s 216.2 million out of a total 418.6 million mobile phones.
Another mobile device making big strides worldwide is the tablet, The Tech Report says . The website reports that tablet shipments more than doubled. There was a 117 percent increase of tablets shipped over last year, from 18.7 million in the first quarter of 2012 to 40.6 million in the first quarter of this year. While still a fraction of smartphone shipments, the pace of tablet growth is impressive.
Here’s the reason all of this is important: if people are using smartphones and tablets, they will increasingly interact with their favorite brands on mobile devices.
We’ve reported before about the increasing relevance of mobile marketing .
In 2012, Juniper Research projected  mobile payments could reach $1.3 trillion by 2015.
So, small businesses need to be sure their sites are mobile friendly and ready to accept mobile payments where applicable.
Experts also worry  about the security threats associated with mobile payments and accessing data through mobile devices. Internet security company Symantec reported  a 58 percent increase in mobile malware between 2011 and 2012. Nearly one-third of those attacks aimed at stealing information, the report states.
Smartphones  Photo via Shutterstock