Approximately 23% of all new mobile phones will be smartphones by 2013, up from 13% in 2008, according to data from Juniper Research, which reports that smartphones continue to account for a growing proportion of mobile phones sold worldwide and are poised to sustain the performance of major hardware manufacturers throughout the recession.
The report, “Next Generation Smartphones: Players, Opportunities & Forecasts 2008-2013” predicts that between 2008 and 2013, annual sales of smartphones will rise by 95% to more than 300 million.
Underpinning Juniper’s forecast is the finding that a rising demand for complex Web 2.0-centric applications is broadening user appeal and expanding the overall market for ‘smart’ devices. As a result, handset manufacturers – both large and small – are increasingly? relying on sales of high-end devices to mass-market users.
Other findings from the report:.
- Overall, mobile device shipments grew by a nominal 5-6% at best in 2008, but key vendors are projecting a decline of up to 10% or more in 2009.
- As margins on handsets fall, vendors such as Nokia and Sony Ericsson are increasingly diversifying into the service provision arena as a means of bolstering earnings – solutions such as music libraries and location-based social networking present significant opportunities in the future.
“The process of evolving mobile phones into internet-centric, highly personalized mobile computers is well under way,” said Andrew Kitson, the author of the report. “Changes in the design and form of mobile devices, such as the inclusion of large touch-based displays, have been taken to their limits. Looking ahead, the shape and form of next-generation devices will most likely be led by software and content, rather than hardware, as vendors such as Nokia strive to make their devices highly personalized and rooted firmly in the online environment.”