Smartphone shipments surge as prices drop

More smartphones to ship in 2013 than other mobile 'feature' phones

More smartphones will ship worldwide in 2013 than other so-called mobile "feature" phones as the average price of smartphones drops, IDC said Tuesday.

The average price of smartphone declined by 8% globally in 2012 and is projected to fall another 9% in 2013, IDC analyst Ryan Reith said.

Meanwhile, smartphones will make up 52.2% of all mobile phones shipped in 2013, while the smartphone market is projected to grow by 33% annually, IDC said.

In 2013, 958.8 million smartphones will ship, up 32.7% from the 722.5 million shipped in 2012, IDC said. "2013 will mark a watershed year for smartphones," said Ramon Llamas, an IDC analyst.

The gulf between smartphones and feature phones will grow even wider in coming years, as vendors find ways to lower production costs. One way vendors cut costs is by using older radio components that run on 3G, rather than 4G.

In some emerging markets, 3G is considered "good enough" for users, IDG said. The 3G devices will account for 71% of all smartphones shipped in 2013, and will still make up 50% of the market in 2017.

Nearly two-thirds of all smartphones shipped in 2013 will go to emerging markets, up from 43% in 2010, IDC said.

"Smartphones have become increasingly common in emerging markets and it is often the first affordable means of computing for these markets," Reith said. Average personal income is far lower than in developed countries, forcing vendors "to create smartphone computing experiences for the low end of the market."

Average prices for smartphones in 2013 will be $372, down from $407 in 2012 and $443 in 2011. The average selling price for a smartphone could be as low as $309 in 2017, IDC said.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Read more about smartphones in Computerworld's Smartphones Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Mobile/WirelessIT industryconsumer electronicsIDCNetworkingwirelesssmartphonesmobile

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?