Some 2 billion smartphones will be sold in 2018, compared to an estimated 1.25 billion in 2014, according to the latest forecasts from ABI Research. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 12 % over the forecast period, from 2014 to 2019.
The research firm reports that the average rate of smartphone penetration among mobile subscribers worldwide is around 30 %, although it is already above 60 % in the wealthiest nations.
From 2017, smartphones are expected to strengthen their position as the world's leading device category, selling twice as many units as standard feature phones. ABI Research observes that this trend will be fuelled by the developing market for low-cost smartphones out of India and China.
Smartphone shipments reached the one billion mark for the first time in 2013. Last year was also the first time that more than one out of two mobile phones sold was a smartphone. According to IDC, Samsung dominates the smartphone category with a rather wide lead, ahead of Apple and Huawei.