Analysis of International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker data indicates smartphone shipments will exceed regular feature phone shipments in 2013. This will be the first time ever on an annual basis that smartphones will own the majority of the worldwide market if IDC’s projection of smartphones grabbing 50.1% is accurate. According to IDC’s analysis, three factors have pushed smartphones to the verge of market dominance. Falling prices for smartphones, a wide “strata” of smartphones, and continued improvements to data networks, especially carrier rollouts of 4G wireless, are all contributing to growth as they make smartphones a more attractive choice for buyers. IDC is forecasting that by 2017, over two-thirds of all phones shipped worldwide will be smartphones.
In addition to the news about smartphones overtaking feature phones in terms of worldwide shipments, IDC also shared some data and projections regarding the largest markets for smartphones. IDC notes that shipments are expected to slow in mature countries like the United States and the United Kingdom over the next few years. Even with the slowing growth, both countries are expected to remain in the top five for the foreseeable future. IDC sees big things happening in China, India and Brazil as these countries continue to mature. Readers may note that Japan is projected to drop out of the top five markets by 2017, mainly due to growth in India.