This is forecasted to be up from 1.96 billion in 2014 and 2.07 billion this year, but sales in Western Europe and North America are set to peak in 2017
Global mobile phone sales are expected to reach 2.35 billion units in 2019, up from 1.96 billion in 2014 and a predicted figure of 2.07 billion this year.
This is according to the latest worldwide forecast by technology analyst firm CCS Insight. It has predicted that 1.48 billion smartphones with 670 million 4G-enabled this year, while 2019 will see two billion smartphones sold with 1.29 billion 4G-enabled.
It claims the surge is being led by Apple, which is taking by far and away the most sales revenue and profit in the smartphone market: last year its share of global mobile phone sales revenue reached 37 per cent, up from 32 per cent in 2013.
The forecast reveals Apple’s share of the smartphone market reached 15.1 per cent last year, predicting it to grow over the next three years. It added that in mature markets, the iPhone 6 (pictured left) and 6 Plus (pictured right) have proved popular with people looking to replace older devices, with the increasingly affordable iPhone attracting new customers.
However, the forecast also reveals that despite overall continued growth in emerging markets, sales in developed markets, notably Western Europe and North America, are close to saturation and are poised to peak in 2017, before falling to lower levels.
CCS Insight smart devices and pricing analyst Jasdeep Badyal said: “Unless we see a major new disruption similar to the one prompted by the iPhone’s arrival in 2007, we expect smartphone sales in Western Europe and North America to slowly decline after 2017.”
Elsewhere, the analyst said the dominance that Android and iOS holds over the smartphone market is becoming greater, predicting that these two operating systems will account for more than 95 per cent of all global smartphone sales this year.
However, it warns of challenges ahead for Android, forecasting that in 2016, around a third of Android smartphone shipments, or 400 million devices, will not be running Google services.
Elsewhere, the forecast says other operating systems have been relegated to “also-rans”, It claims Microsofts Windows OS is the only one showing promise, but that it will need “colossal” marketing investments to challenge Android and iOS.