Smartphones will make up more than half of all global mobile phone shipments next year, selling much faster than previously predicted, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli.
Last year the company predicted that smartphones would not hit the halfway point of mobile phone shipments until 2015. However, on the basis of the latest data, IHS now expects smartphones to make up 54% of the overall mobile phone market in 2013 after rising to 46% of the total this year and 35% in 2011.
The report’s author, Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS, said the rise in smartphone sales has been driven by increased demand from developed regions for high-end models, along with an unexpectedly strong push from emerging economies for lower-cost products.
He added: ‘This represents a major upgrade for the outlook compared to a year ago, when smartphones weren’t expected to take the lead until 2015.
'Over the past 12 months, smartphones have fallen in price, and a wider variety of models have become available, spurring sales of both low-end smartphones in regions like Asia-Pacific, as well as mid-range to high-end phones in the US and Europe.
‘The solid expansion in both shipments and market share this year of smartphones will make them the leading type of mobile phone for the first time, and shipment growth in the double digits will continue for the next few years.'
The report predicts that by 2016, smartphones will represent 67.4% of the total mobile phone market.