Smartphone sales to pass 1bn despite overall market slump

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Telecoms analyst house CCS Insight predicts that a slowdown in the overall mobile phone market won’t stop smartphone sales growing this year

Global smartphone sales are expected to reach 1.01 billion units this year, or 55 per cent of total mobile phone shipments, despite overall growth in the mobile phone market slowing.

This is according to telecoms analyst house CCS Insight, which revealed that by 2017, smartphones will account for 78 per cent of a total of 2.19 billion mobile phones sold worldwide.

CCS Insight director of forecasting Marina Koytcheva said: “The insatiable demand for smartphones keeps growing. This explosive growth is occurring despite the overall market for mobile phones slowing down, as the mix of new sales is firmly shifting to more capable smart devices.”

CCS Insight claimed the shift underlines the pressure that mobile phones face as their shipments fall to just below 500 million units in four years time. It added profit margins are being squeezed with the segment now led by Nokia, Samsung and Alcatel One Touch.

Koytcheva added: “Whether Microsoft will have the appetite to stay in touch in such a cutthroat segment after the proposed acquisition of Nokia’s device business remains to be seen.”

CCS Insight believes that despite Google Android’s continued dominance in the operating system segment, the long list of new rivals will gain a small but significant foothold over the next three years, especially in China.

It said that at the same time, BlackBerry’s current troubles present opportunities to others, namely Microsoft, but only if it can position Nokia’s portfolio of Windows Phone devices as an alternative to BlackBerry.

The research house claimed Apple risks losing share at the top end of the market if it fails to release an innovative product next year.

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