The popularity of smartphones cannot be denied. Despite the kind of economy that makes grown men cry, the smartphone industry has actually seen growth in the last few years. A new report from IHS indicates that smartphones will make up half of all mobile phones by 2013. That is a good two years earlier than previous estimates from IHS made last year. In 2011 smartphones accounted for 35% of all mobile handsets, but lower prices and a wide variety of models have led to the expansion in sales of low-end smartphones in the Asia Pacific region and a surge in sales of mid to high-end smartphones in the U.S. and Europe.
"This represents a major upgrade for the outlook compared to a year ago, when smartphones weren’t expected to take the lead until 2015. Over the past 12 months, smartphones have fallen in price, and a wider variety of models (has) become available, spurring sales of both low-end smartphones in regions like Asia-Pacific, as well as midrange to high-end phones in the United States and Europe."-Wayne Lam, IHS senior analyst
IHS breaks down the mobile phone industry into three separate divisions. First, there are smartphones followed by feature phones, and lastly you have your low-priced, basic models. IHS senior analyst Wayne Lam expects smartphones to be in the hands of more people than featurephones this year, but will fall short of the 50% mark. That milestone should be topped in 2013 and by 2016 the analyst sees smartphones accounting for two-thirds of the market.