Smartphones are still selling well around the world, on track to grow 29 per cent from 2012 to 619 million units.
The figures are from Futuresource Consulting's mobile device market research. Mobile handsets as a whole grew 6.9 per cent to 1.7bn units from 2012 to 2013, and Samsung now dominates, it said.
Oliver Rowntree, research analyst at Futuresource, said in a statement: "In 2012, the total worldwide trade revenues exceeded $180bn (£113bn), and mobile handsets represented 38 per cent of worldwide spending on consumer electronics."
Eighteen per cent of the global population own a smartphone, he said, with some developed markets seeing 80 per cent of residents owning at least one. Penetration remains lower in emerging markets including Asia.
"It is, however, forecast to be 37 per cent across these regions by 2017 as mobile ownership continues to transcend traditional CE social-demographic boundaries," Rowntree predicted.
Apple is maintaining a strong position in the smartphone segment, but apart from Samsung most other vendors have seen their share of the mobile handset market decline, including of course RIM and Nokia, Rowntree noted.
This year smartphone shipments have overtaken standard handsets for the first time, he added, and sales will continue to grow as prices fall and mobile content diversifies and improves.
In many developed markets with high penetration of smartphones, including the UK, further smartphone sales will now be driven primarily by replacement.
In less saturated markets such as Spain and Germany there will be large numbers of new users driving demand, Rowntree indicated.
However, Futuresource predicts that feature phones will still make up over 30 per cent of mobile handset sales in 2017.
Futuresource has just released its 27-page Worldwide Mobile Handset and Smartphone Market report.
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