The global smartphone market passed the all-important milestone of 1bn devices in use in the third quarter of this year according to Strategy Analytics which is predicting that the number will leap to 2bn by 2015.
The analyst says there are now 1.038bn smartphones in use globally, some 16 years after Nokia launched the first smartphone, the Communicator, onto the market.
TechCrunch reports that smartphone growth is accelerating at a rapid pace, from 708m devices in use in the third quarter of last year, to 959m in Q2 2012.
Nevertheless, Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston told TechCrunch that smartphone penetration remained relatively low, with considerable room for growth.
“Most of the world does not yet own a smartphone and there remains huge scope for future growth, particularly in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa,” he said. “The first billion smartphones in use worldwide took 16 years to reach, but we forecast the next billion to be achieved in less than three years, by 2015.”
Strategy doesn’t break down the 1bn figure into individual manufacturers, although we should have a better idea of this when companies start reporting their own Q3 figures. As things stand, Samsung is the market leader in terms of quarterly handset sales, followed by Apple and Nokia.
IHS recently predicted that smartphones will account for 50% of all mobiles sold by 2013, saying this will rise to two thirds by 2016.