IDC reported Monday that device makers expect to ship 918.6 million smartphones globally this year, accounting for 50.1 percent of the entire mobile phone market. It says that falling smartphone prices and the increasing availability of faster 4G wireless networks are making smartphones more attractive to buyers. By 2017, IDC predicts, 1.5 billion smartphones will be shipped, accounting for two-thirds of the mobile phone market.
I've regularly reported on IDC's quarterly reports of sales of smartphones and other gadgets.
Most smartphone demand has been in “mature economies,” such as the U.S., but IDC says growth is getting faster in “emerging markets” such as China, India and Brazil.
“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,” IDC stated. In fact, more smartphones were sold in China last year than in the U.S.
India is shaping up to be the fastest growing smartphone market in the world, rising by 459.7 percent to third place (after China and the U.S.) in 2017 from sixth place today.
Feature phones are wireless phones that have voice mail and texting capabilities and that’s about it. Smartphones have many more features including e-mail, Web browsing and can play music and video. They also allow users to download software applications from online stores with hundreds of thousands of choices.
IDC is hosting a conference on mobile technology Tuesday in Santa Clara. I'll be reporting from there on more gadget news.