Market research firm Infonetics Research, in its biannual Mobile/WiFi report has forecast that smartphone sales will overtake standard mobile phones by 2012.
“Smartphones are on track to post a 14.5% increase in the number of units sold worldwide in 2009, and a 21% compound annual growth rate from 2008 to 2013, significantly better than other mobile phone segments”, predicts Richard Webb, Infonetics Research’s directing analyst for mobile devices. While smartphone revenue is expected to dip in 2009 mainly due to price erosion and lower-ARPU units coming to market, he expects it to pick up in 2010 and continue growing, easily outstripping the combined revenue of standard mobile phones by 2012.
Infonetics also predicts mobile subscribers will hit 5.9 billion in 2013, driven by China, India, Africa.
According to Infonetics, there were nearly 4 times more mobile subscribers than access line subscribers worldwide in 2008 (3.9 billion vs. 1 billion), and the number of mobile subscribers grew 17.4% in 2008 over 2007, while access line subscribers declined 5.5%.
Apple’s smartphone share rose to 9% in the second quarter of 2009 on the strength of the iPhone 3GS, but the iPhone is sure to face stiff competition from the open-source Android platform, says Infonetics.
More than 33.7 million U.S. subscribers had smartphones by August 2009, according to ComScore. Touch-screen phones, like the iPhone, grew 159 percent between August 2008 and August 2009, with a total of 23.8 million U.S. users. Just over 9.2 million were using touch-screen phones in August 2008.
Some 1.1 billion mobile phones are forecast to be sold in 2009 worldwide. Smartphones will account for an increasing percentage of total mobile phone revenue, driven in part by accelerating HSPA deployments in North America, Western Europe, and developed Asia Pacific countries, according to the report.