The world got smarter

The world got smarter

Xiaomi smartphone marketing

The world bought 1.2 billion smartphones in 2014 as the number of units sold globally in the fourth-quarter totalled 346 million, up 19% on the same period in 2013. In value terms, $115 billion was spent on smartphones in the final three months of 2014 alone, a 20% spike year-on-year, according to GfK.

China was the biggest market - during the final quarter unit sales were flat, but sales value increased by a strong 21% to $28 billion. “The increase in the value of units sold in China, despite the recent plateau-ing of unit sales, is due to consumers’ rapid adoption of higher -priced smartphones with larger screen sizes,” says Kevin Walsh, GfK’s director of trends and forecasting.

Upstart Chinese device maker Xiaomi led China's smartphone market last year with a 12.5% share of shipments, ahead of giant Samsung on 12.1%. Xiaomi's market share increased 186% over the course of 2014, while Samsung's declined 22%, and the company has been successful in leaning heavily on flash sales to create buzz around its devices at low cost.

Cardboard for fashion

Cardboard for fashion

Topshop's shoppable fashion week

Topshop's shoppable fashion week