Smartphone sales are taking off in Asia after a slow start, as analysts predict that the number of phones shipped in the region will double this year to 18.8 million.
Large numbers of new customers are being lured into buying or upgrading to smartphones by attractive new features, according to research firm In-Stat.
"Major smartphone makers are providing better designs, better functionality and better cost structures, thus offering better pricing and a long-term plan for product portfolios," said Victor Liu, a Singapore-based analyst with In-Stat.
While only 7.4 million smartphones were shipped in the region in the first half of 2006, sales have picked up strongly are expected to exceed 11 million in the second half.
The market is on the cusp of mass smartphone adoption, according to Liu, who believes that Asia-Pacific sales will approach 65 million units a year by 2010.
Research firm Gartner stated recently that global smartphone sales grew 75 per cent year-on-year to reach almost 35 million in the first half of 2006, around 29 per cent of which were in Asia.
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