The surging global smartphone market is expanding about four times faster than the overall handset market, which rebounded 10% in the first three months of the year. While handset sales fell slightly last year, smartphone sales jumped 57%. And that growth is speeding up.
After posting an 85% gain in the first quarter, IDC expects the market to increase 70% this year. Globally, 27% of handset sales are now smartphones.
In Singapore smartphones last year made up 61% of the country’s mobile phone sales and are forecast to account for 80% of total shipments in 2015.
StarHub CEO Neil Montefiore told Telecom Asia in May that 97% of its phone sales are now smartphones. Research firm Canalys noted in a report this week that 50% of sales in Singapore are priced at more than $550.
The overall Southeast Asia market isn’t quite that hot nor are consumers there spending at that level. But Canalys predicts smartphone sales jumping 19% this year to more than 106 million devices. Last year they made up 17% of shipments across the region and are forecast to hit 51% in 2015.
Looking to China, smartphones now account for 30% of total handset sales – up from just 19% in the first quarter of 2010, according to Analysys International.
That’s significantly higher than the global average of 23%. The country’s smartphone market grew 17% last year – a trend that is sure to continue at least for the next few years. Excluding copycat and smuggled models, China’s consumers purchased just under 20 million smartphones in the first quarter.
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