Global smartphone sales to hit 1 billion this year, survey shows
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Global smartphone sales are expected to top one billion this year, driven by low-cost handset and gains in emerging markets, a research firm said on Wednesday.
International Data Corp (IDC) said it sees the smartphone market growing 40 per cent this year, and will likely grow to 1.7 billion annually by 2017. Overall mobile phone sales will grow 7.4 per cent, rebounding from a nearly flat year in 2012, IDC said. Total mobile handset sales are expected to be some 1.8 billion, with more than half of that in the smartphone segment.
Smartphone growth is the result of a variety of factors, including steep device subsidies from carriers, especially in mature economic markets, as well as a growing array of sub-US$200 (S$256) smartphones.
"Two years ago, the worldwide smartphone market flirted with shipping half a billion units for the first time. To double that in just two years highlights the ubiquity that smartphones have achieved," said Mr Ramon Llamas, IDC's mobile research manager. "The smartphone has gone from being a cutting-edge communications tool to becoming an essential component in the everyday lives of billions of consumers."