Increasing demand from China and launch of cheaper handsets will propel Global sales of smartphones up to $1bn in 2014, according to Credit Suisse.
The research analyst predicts sales of the devices will grow about 46% this year to 687.9 million units and will touch 1.05 billion units in 2014.
Credit Suisse also forecasts a 23% market share for Apple and 11% for Nokia over the long term. Other winners include Samsung and Huawei, though Motorola, HTC, Sony and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion are all expected to lose market share.
"We see robust growth for the smartphone market in China, which we think will account for 22 per cent of global units by 2015," Analysts including Kulbinder Garcha wrote in a note.
Gartner estimated that smartphone sales for 2011 hit 472 million globally and accounted for 31% of all mobile devices sold for the year — 58% rise over 2010. Overall sales of mobile phones for the year hit 1.8 billion units, an 11.1% jump over 2010. Nokia was the number one seller of mobile devices with 422.5 million units and a share of 23.8%. Number two and three on the list were Samsung and Apple with 313.9 million units and 89.3 million units and shares of 17.7% and 5%, respectively.
Analysts are saying that there are increasing signs of vulnerability for Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc, HTC Corp and Sony Corp, and predicted a rapid decline for BlackBerry maker Research In Motion .
Though the idea of one-seventh of humanity having access to a smartphone may give one pause, Credit Suisse’s prediction of 1 billion smartphones appears conservative next to that of Cisco, which recently posited that by 2016 there could be 10 billion smartphones worldwide, or 1.4 devices per person.
Number of Indian smartphone users has also rocketed in recent times. A recent mobile survey conducted by IPSOS and Google reveals that Indian smartphone users are accessing the Internet more than their counterparts in the US.
According to the survey, 56 per cent of smartphone users in the country access the Internet multiple times a day, nearly 40 per cent surf the Net at least once a day and only 6 per cent never use their phone for connecting to the Web. In comparison, 11 per cent of smartphone users in the US never use their device to access the Net and 53 per cent use it to surf multiple times a day.
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