The increase in the popularity of smartphones comes as no surprise given the fact that they can do almost everything a full-fledged computer can, that too in the palm of your hand. Of course, they won’t ever replace PCs or notebooks, but their small form factor combined with powerful features and facilities make smartphones irresistible. If market intelligence studies are anything to go by, it seems that our smart devices are all set to show their dumb cousins the way out. According to a report by iSuppli Corp., increased demand from developed regions for higher-end models will push smartphones to account for the majority of global cellphone shipments by 2013.

According to the report, smartphone shipments in 2013 are forecast to account for 54 percent of the total cellphone market, up from 46 percent in 2012 and 35 percent in 2011. “The year 2013 will mark the first time that smartphones will make up more than half of all cellphone shipments,” the report states. “This change in outlook represents a major upgrade compared to a year ago when smartphones weren’t expected to take the lead until 2015.”

iSuppli predicts smartphones will command cellphone market by 2013

iSuppli predicts smartphones will command cellphone market by 2013

The report states that booming smartphone sales are on account of falling prices and a wider variety of models becoming available in the past 12 months, especially in regions such as the Asia-Pacific.

The report predicts that the solid expansion in both shipments and market share this year will make smartphones the leading type of mobile phone for the first time, and shipment growth in the double digits will continue for the next few years. “By 2016, smartphones will represent 67.4 percent of the total cellphone market,” the report reads.

Inevitably, feature phones are set to see the end of their rule as smartphones rise to the majority share this year. At just a grade above the most basic, low-cost entry-level phones, they lack the sophisticated engineering and abundant functionality of smartphones. The report states that feature phones commanded the wireless market as late as last year with 46 percent market share, but their portion will decrease to 41 percent this year. It goes on to add that this will set a trend of “irreversible decline and progressive weakening” in feature phones' market share.

iSuppli predicts that feature phones will be confined to a market share of 28 percent by 2016. This would be less than half the share of smartphones by that time.

Research firm Gartner last month released its report on mobile phone sales figures for the second quarter of 2012. As per the figures, mobile phone sales totalled 419 million units in Q2 2012. Samsung Electronics, according to the report, saw very strong mobile handset sales. Samsung's sales went up 29.5 percent from the second quarter of 2011, and managed to stay above Apple and Nokia, two other popular brands in this space, quarter on quarter.

The report reveals that Samsung's growth came from the record sales of Galaxy smartphones. Elaborating on this, the report says that smartphones now account for 50.4 percent of all Samsung mobile devices, i.e., 45.6 million units. The demand for Samsung's newest smartphone, the Galaxy S3 has been particularly strong, and went beyond the company's expectations. Samsung's sales reached a whopping 10 million units in the first two months after the smartphone's release. The S3, according to the report, has been the best-selling Android product in the quarter. Sales of the S3 could have been higher had it not been for product shortages.

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