1.8 billion mobile phones to be shipped this year with 4% growth, says IDC

Telecom Lead America: Global handset vendors will ship a
total of nearly 1.8 billion mobile phones this year, compared to 1.7 billion
units shipped in 2011, according to IDC.


The worldwide mobile phone market is forecast to grow
slightly more than 4.0 percent Y-o-Y in 2012, which is lowest annual growth
rate since 2009.


Sharp decline in the feature phone market and sluggish
global economic conditions will lower the growth of the market this year.


By the end of 2016, IDC forecasts 2.3 billion mobile
phones will be shipped to the channel.


The slow growth in the overall mobile phone market is
primarily due to the projected 10.0% decline in feature phone shipments this


In comparison, the smartphone market will largely offset
the feature phone decline with shipments forecast to grow 38.8 percent year
over year to 686 million units this year.


The study reveals that the high demand for smartphones is
being fuelled by high carrier subsidies, falling average selling prices and
component costs, increased awareness and device diversity, and lower-cost data
plans among other factors.


In terms of operating systems, IDC
projects Android will remain the most shipped smartphone OS over the
course of the five-year forecast though its share will peak this year, mainly
fuelled by Samsung sales.


The study suggests that iOS will continue its
impressive run thanks to strong iPhone 4S momentum in North America, Western
Europe, and Asia/Pacific, specifically China, this year.


On the other hand, Windows Mobile OS will gain share
despite a slow start. The study predicts that Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile
will be aided by Nokia’s strength in key emerging markets.


IDC expects Windows OS to be the number 2 OS with
more than 19 percent share in 2016, assuming Nokia’s foothold in emerging
markets is maintained.


There will continue to be a market for BlackBerry
OS-powered devices, despite Research In Motion’s current woes.


Global mobile phone shipments to reach 2.2 billion units by
2017, feature phones set to plunge


Global annual mobile phone shipments will grow at a CAGR
of 5.5 percent between 2011 and 2017, reaching 2.2 billion units.


Ovum predicts that smartphones will surpass the overall
market for mobile phones, growing at a CAGR of 21.0 percent between 2011 and
2017 to reach 1.7 billion units. This will account for 77 percent of the
overall mobile phone market globally in 2017.


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