Telecommunications - Regional

Smartphones sales to reach 1bn worldwide in 2013 - study

Smartphones sales to reach 1bn worldwide in 2013 - study

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Worldwide smartphone sales are expected to reach 1bn units in 2013, compared to 675mn in 2012, research and consultancy firm Gartner said in a release.

Meanwhile, tablets are also expected to see continued rapid growth this year, with unit sales increasing 69.8% to 197mn.

Both smartphones and tablets are seeing aggressive price erosion, driving adoption in emerging markets and the prepay segment of mature markets, according to Gartner.

But the trend towards increasing smartphone and tablet use is having a strong negative effect on the desktop and notebook PC market, which is set to see unit sales fall by 7.6% to 315mn in 2013.

"As consumers shift their time away from their PC to tablets and smartphones, they will no longer see their PC as a device that they need to replace on a regular basis," Gartner research VP Carolina Milanesi said.

Overall mobile phone unit sales are set to reach 1.88bn in 2013, up from 1.75bn in 2012, with sales set to continue rising to 2.13bn in 2017.

This growth looks set to be driven by strong smartphone increases. Smartphone shipments are expected to grow from 722mn units in 2012 to 1.52bn units in 2017, according to IDC statistics.

Feature phones continued to make up over half of total mobile phone shipments in 2012, but that is set to change in 2013, when feature phones will account for 49.9% of total shipments. That figure will fall to just 33.6% of shipments in 2017, the research firm said.

In Latin America, smartphone sales saw growth of 66% in 2012, but overall mobile handset shipments declined as feature phones faced a sharper than expected contraction in the year, IDC Latin America mobile analyst, Oliver Aguilar, said.

Tablets are also seeing exponential growth in the region, with total sales increasing by 154% in 2012, according to IDC.