Worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to top 1.5 billion in 2017, according to a new report from Canalys.
This figure represents 73 per cent of all mobile handset shipments, says the analysis firm. It also believes that the growth in the smartphone market will be driven by Android.
From total sales of 470 million devices in 2012, Canalys forecasts that shipments in 2017 will increase to a massive one billion Android smartphones a year. This would give the operating system 67.1 per cent share of the market.
“The price of smartphones has fallen dramatically over the last few years and this has helped increase penetration,” said Chris Jones, Canalys Principal Analyst.
“But, so far, the problem with low-cost smartphones has been that the user experience has been compromised to hit lower price points. This is why Nokia has been so successful with its Asha portfolio. These handsets have been purpose-built and provide a great “pseudo-smart phone” experience. But the situation will change over the next few years.”
Jones believes it won’t be long until feature phones are a thing of the past. “As component prices continue to fall, vendors will be able to deliver great experiences on smartphones at low price points, which means that in many markets, feature phones will become extinct,” he added.