More than a billion smartphones are set to be shipped worldwide this year, a new study has indicated.
Smartphone purchases are set to break through the one billion barrier for the first time this year, a new study has indicated.
Research published today (January 7th) by Deloitte has revealed that the handheld devices will become a ubiquitous presence in the mobile marketing arena in 2013 as global annual shipments will hit the nine-figure mark.
Due to this explosion in sales, the number of active phones that feature a QWERTY keyboard or a touch screen is expected to total some two billion by the time 2014 rolls around, with declining prices making the devices much more accessible.
In the past, smartphones were widely seen as a luxury item, but costs associated with the handsets have declined as they have become more common.
Figures compiled by Deloitte showed that some 500 million devices have already been sold for $100 (£62) or less, while there are also now several schemes in operation in emerging markets that aim to make these phones available for as little as $50.
Increased competition in the market between firms such as Apple, HTC, Nokia and Research in Motion has been another driving factor behind lower prices, the organisation explained.
Internet access on smartphones is still not massively common as just 20 per cent of owners never use their device to browse the world wide web, although Deloitte’s report indicated that these people do regularly use their handheld for other, more traditional activities, such as making phone calls and sending text messages.
Paul Lee, head of telecoms research at Deloitte, said these consumers use their device as “traditional feature phones in a smartphone casing”.
“Smartphone penetration goes up but data plan penetration doesn’t go up as quickly. Not every mobile will be used in the same way,” he added.
This comes after a report published last week by Forrester Research revealed that people with smartphones are much more likely to conduct research on new products than individuals who do not own one of these handsets.
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