Tue, Nov 20, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Emerging markets set to boost smartphone sales

IN DEMAND:A researcher said low penetration in developing countries was to cause fast shipment growth, as phone sales in advanced nations decline

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to grow by 30.2 percent to 865 million units next year, accounting for about 43.9 percent of total cellphone shipments, boosted by strong demand from developing countries such as China and India, a local research house forecast yesterday.

This year, global smartphone shipments are expected to grow nearly 37 percent year-on-year to 664.6 million units, Digitimes Research said in a report.

Smartphones are likely to grow at a fast rate in emerging markets such as China, Russia, India, Indonesia and South America, due to low smartphone penetration, Digitimes Research said.

Meanwhile, demand for high-end smartphones in Western European countries may be affected by the countries’ economic condition, because most have announced austerity measures that would weaken consumer spending.

Next year, growth for smartphone brands will depend on their partnerships with software developers, hardware manufacturers, the strength of market demand and telecommunications carriers’ policies, the firm said.

Digitimes said Microsoft Corp is likely to launch its first smartphone running its Windows 8 operating system next year.

In addition, Digitimes said Nokia Oyj and Research In Motion Ltd may face growth limitations while attempting to transform their businesses, and online retailer Amazon.com Inc is poised to enter the already crowded smartphone market next year.

In a separate report, Digitimes predicted that LCD TV shipments in Taiwan would drop 17 percent this year, before resuming 20 percent annual growth as 44.73 million units are shipped next year.

Japanese television brand Toshiba is expected to order 10 million units from local contract TV makers, as that it would outsource 70 percent of its production to its suppliers, Digitimes said.

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