Global sales of smartphones will top 1 billion units in 2014, according to one analyst’s estimate.
Credit Suisse predicts sales of the devices will grow about 46% this year to 687.9 million units, according to a report by Reuters. Reps from Credit Suisse could not be reached for comment.
Much of that demand is being driven by China and cheaper smartphones that are flooding the market. Credit Suisse also forecasts a 23% market share for Apple and 11% for Nokia over the long term. Other winners include Samsung and Huawei, though Motorola, HTC, Sony and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion are all expected to lose market share.
Gartner estimated that smartphone sales for 2011 hit 472 million globally and accounted for 31% of all mobile devices sold for the year — a 58% rise over 2010. Overall sales of mobile phones for the year hit 1.8 billion units, an 11.1% jump over 2010. Nokia was the number one seller of mobile devices with 422.5 million units and a share of 23.8%. Number two and three on the list were Samsung and Apple with 313.9 million units and 89.3 million units and shares of 17.7% and 5%, respectively.
Though the idea of one-seventh of humanity having access to a smartphone may give one pause, Credit Suisse’s prediction of 1 billion smartphones appears conservative next to that of Cisco, which recently posited that by 2016 there could be 10 billion smartphones worldwide, or 1.4 devices per person.
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