Global smartphone shipments forecast to rise 24.3 percent

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - Page 14

Global shipments of smartphones will increase by more than 20 percent next year amid growing popularity of mid-range models, according to a Taipei-based market information advisory firm.

Shipments of smartphones are expected to reach 876 million units next year, rising by an annual 24.3 percent, TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said in a recent statement.

However, the growth rate, is slowing down, TrendForce said, noting that it was more than 50 percent in past years.

The top five global leaders in the smartphone industry next year will be Samsung Electronics Co of South Korea, US giant Apple Inc, Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想) of China, Taiwan’s HTC Corp (宏達電) and Finland-based Nokia Oyj, the advisory firm forecast.

Samsung and Apple alone are expected to account for 45 percent of global shipments, while Chinese brands, such as Huawei (華為), Coolpad (酷派) and ZTE (中興), will make up more than 30 percent, it added.

As for operating systems, the flexibility of Google’s Android platform allows for creativity in terms of software and hardware integration, resulting in greater product differentiation, according to TrendForce.

Given its “immense market advantage,” TrendForce predicted that Android would retain the biggest share of next year’s global smartphone market with 70 percent, followed by Apple’s iOS with 18 percent and Microsoft Corp’s Windows with 8.7 percent.

Digitimes Research, another local firm, held a similar view, saying that the majority of smartphone makers still use Android, while many more want to launch various low to medium-priced Android models.

Smartphones running the Android system are forecast to account for more than 70 percent of the global smartphone market, Digitimes predicted.

It predicted that iOS would retain second place with 19.1 percent of the market.