Global smartphone shipments will surpass shipments of basic and feature phones for the first time in 2013
According to the latest Smartphone Quarterly from NPD DisplaySearch, global smartphone shipments are expected to reach 937 million units in 2013, compared to just 889 million units for basic phones and feature phones.
The report highlighted that between 2011 and 2016 – smartphone shipments will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 26%, to 1.45 billion units, which will account for two-thirds of the mobile phone market.
”The global smartphone market is expected to continue growing rapidly over the next two years,” said Shawn Lee research director at NPD DisplaySearch. “With larger, higher-resolution displays, faster processors, and higher-capacity cellular systems being built, the smartphone is not only becoming a must-have device, but is satisfying many needs that formerly required other computing and consumer electronics devices.”
This phenomenal growth is mainly driven by smartphone adaptation in emerging markets and better download speed via 3G and 4G networks.
Other factors contributing to this growth includes:
- Lower price of smartphone – entry-level smartphones priced below $200 are gaining momentum.
- China growth – China leads in the entry-level smartphone category, comprising 55% of shipments. China is also the largest market for smartphones as a whole, and the Asia-Pacific region will account for over 50% of smartphone shipments in 2013.
“To increase revenue share and gain margin in the smartphone market, a variety of new handsets, as well as new products launched by service and content providers, will enter the market,” Lee said. “As smartphone specifications and features become more advanced, and as device replacement rates increase, we can expect further investment in the industry by manufacturers, carriers, and governments.”
The screen sizes of smartphones are also expected to increase in the coming years according to the report.
“In 2013, more than half (57%) of smartphone displays will range between 4-5″, while screens larger than 5″ will grow to 16% of the market. Panel makers are increasing production of smartphone displays in larger-generation LCD factories to meet the demand for these larger panels,” according to the report.