APEJ smartphone sales to top 100m soon: IDC

Dylan Bushell-Embling
11 Mar 2011

Smartphone shipments in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan will break the 100 million mark soon and reach 137 million by the end of the year, IDC has predicted.

Shipments more than doubled in 2010 from the year before, and this stunning growth trajectory is set to continue this year, the research firm said.

While the feature phone segment is still holding its own by volume growth thanks largely to Chinese low-end handsets - with shipments growing 17% in 2010 - smartphones are expected to be growing at eight times the rate of feature phones by 2015.

By this time, smartphone shipments should rise to 359 million units, and represent three in five overall mobile phones shipped.

Much of the region's smartphone growth is naturally coming from the more mature markets, with volumes in South Korea alone growing by a factor of 10 last year.

But Nokia has been trying to reduce the costs of its Symbian smartphones to below $200 to target emerging markets like India and Vietnam, and several brands using the Android OS are expected to follow suit, IDC said.

This could shift the balance towards emerging markets, and result in Android overtaking Symbian as the undisputed APEJ smartphone market leader.

Total mobile phone shipments have meanwhile been pegged to grow at a CAGR of 34% over the next five years.

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