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Smartphones to account for 80 percent of mobile phone shipments in coming years

November 27, 2013

Businesses that don't yet offer a branded mobile application may want to reconsider their stance: smartphones are here to stay, and are going to take up an increased market share of mobile phones in the coming years.

Businesses that don’t yet offer a branded mobile application may want to reconsider their stance: smartphones are here to stay, and are going to take up an increased market share of mobile phones in the coming years.

Global smartphone sales are forecast to reach 1.8 billion by 2017, in fact, according to the latest NPD DisplaySearch Smartphone Quarterly report. By that point, smartphones will account for 82 percent of all mobile phone handset shipments, illustrating why retailers need to be sure they have a strategy for leveraging the devices into commerce. 

“Smartphone market growth is being fueled by entry-level smartphones from international brands and white-box vendors in emerging markets,” said Tina Teng, senior analyst for smartphones at NPD DisplaySearch. “We expect aggressive pricing moves to continue, prompting first-time smartphone buyers to upgrade earlier.”

The compound annual growth rate for smartphones will reach 21 percent, while other feature phones will decline in sales at a compound annual growth rate of 16 percent, according to NPD DisplaySearch. The majority of smartphone growth is expected to come from the Asia-Pacific region. Smartphone sales in China, for example, are forecast to grow by more than 60 percent in 2013, and are projected to account for 30 percent of the entire smartphone market by the year 2017. 

Shopping at mobile payment processing terminals: a trend to watch
ComScore recently identified mobile shopping as one of the top trends to watch during this coming holiday retail season, and its clear why. More than 50 percent of all internet users are now accessing the web by using more than one device, according to the firm. Additionally, as of August 2013, the digital population now spends more time engaging with retail brands on their smartphone than they do on their desktop computer. 

In fact, a third of the average leading retailer’s monthly traffic now comes exclusively from mobile devices, according to ComScore. The firm stated outright that having a mobile strategy is essential for the market shares and lead generation tactics of all growing retailers.

That’s because consumer’s smartphones are moving faster their every, making it easier for shoppers to use them to purchase products. NPD DisplaySearch found that 4G smartphones will represent more than 40 percent of all smartphone shipments by the year 2017, while 3G devices will account for another 51 percent of the market. 

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