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Mobile rolls on as smartphone shipments top feature phones

March 4th, 2013

smartphonesThe mobile revolution shows no signs of slowing down just yet. IDC says more smartphones than feature phones will ship for the first time in 2013 and they’re cheaper and more versatile than ever.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDCWorldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors will ship 918.6 million smartphones this year, or 50.1% of the total mobile phone shipments worldwide.

Prices falling

Smartphone prices have fallen globally, the smartphone strata are wider than ever, and the roll-out of data-centric fourth-generation (4G) wireless networks are three factors that have made these “do-it-all” devices an increasingly attractive option for users.

By the end of 2017, IDC forecasts 1.5 billion smartphones will be shipped worldwide, which equates to just over two-thirds of the total mobile phone forecast for the year due to these primary factors.

The potential global audience for marketers using mobile platforms is also increasing rapidly. 

Smartphone shipments to China, Brazil, and India will comprise a growing percentage of the device type’s volume in each forecast year. Smartphone demand is burgeoning in these large, populous nations as their respective economies have grown; this has made for a larger middle class that is prepared to buy smartphones.

China, which supplanted the U.S. last year as the global leader in smartphone shipments, is at the forefront of this shift.

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