As we have already reported
, smartphone sales rose 3.7% across the globe in last year's fourth quarter although that figure was slower than the growth seen in the prior three month period. Research firm IDC expects a 2% drop in total cellphone shipments this year, the worst performance for the industry since 2001. Like Informa, IDC also expects growth in 2010 but expects it to be at a pace slower than the double-digit rate seen in recent years.
A report by research firm Informa Telecoms and Media says that in the next 5 years, 1 billion fewer smartphone handsets than earlier forecast will be sold because of the worldwide recession. While handset sales are supposed to start improving next year, users are expected to keep their phones 6 to 9 months longer than usual thus lowering demand for phones. Spokesman Paul Lambert said, "Although growth is forecast to slow in 2009, it is set to pick up
again in 2010, when users are expected to buy 1.17 billion devices." High end devices such as smartphones are expected to outsell lower priced feature phones after 2009.