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One billion smartphone shipments expected in 2013

07 Jan 2013
Searching on a smartphone while on-the-go

Over one billion smartphones are expected to ship across the globe in 2013, the first year in which such a milestone has been reached, according to Deloitte.

Shipments are predicted to be up from around 900 million in 2012 and Deloitte said such a huge shipment of smartphones, classed as either touchscreen or Qwerty handsets, would mean there will be over two billion devices in use across the market by the end of 2013.

This will see the penetration of internet-connected smartphones rise across developed nations, such as the UK, where currently 79 percent of the population have smart devices and 85 percent in the US.

However, Deloitte believes many, perhaps as many as 400 million worldwide, will not use their device to access the internet on-the-go via mobile data, but instead will merely use it as a calling, texting and gaming device and occasional Wi-Fi use.

This is in part, the firm speculates, because many people have no interest in downloading apps, are put off by costs, or have a bad experience when first trying to do so and so are reluctant to try again in the future.

This will also be the case where smartphones are given as "hand-me-downs" or where those looking to buy a new feature phone are forced to buy a smartphone as manufacturers move to solely producing internet-capable handsets.

Deloitte said businesses looking to adopt a "mobile-centric" strategy should take such trends onboard when formalising plans, to recognise that not all workers will be naturally savvy with smartphone devices or may not fully utilise their benefits.

Nevertheless, there is clearly a huge demand for apps after Apple revealed on Monday that it has now seen 40 billion downloads from its App Store, with 20 billion of those taking place in 2012 alone.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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