Telecom Lead Asia: 3G smartphones will account for 70.9 percent of all smartphones shipped in 2013, and 50.1 percent of smartphones shipped in 2017.
Demand for both 3G and 4G smartphones has resulted into decline in the price of devices.
IDC says average selling prices have dropped 8 percent in 2012 and another 9 percent is expected this year.
Smartphone average selling prices (ASPs) already declined to $372 in 2013, down from $407 in 2012 and $443 in 2011. Smartphone ASPs are expected to dip further to $309 by 2017.
IDC says smartphone shipments are expected to grow 32.7 percent year over year in 2013 reaching 958.8 million units, up from 722.5 million units last year.
The market research agency said the year 2013 will mark the first year that smartphone shipments surpass those of feature phones, with smartphones expected to account for 52.2 percent of all mobile phone shipments worldwide.
Emerging markets including China and India will account for 64.8 percent of all smartphones shipped during 2013, which is up from 43.1 percent in 2010.
“Smartphones have become increasingly common in emerging markets and it is often the first affordable means of computing for these markets. These are markets where average personal income is far less than in developed markets, and therefore vendors have been forced to create smartphone computing experiences for the low end of the market,” said Ryan Reith, program manager, IDC’s Mobility Trackers.