SHENZHEN, CHINA, 14 MARCH 2011- Smartphone shipments will hit 137 million units in 2011, according to IDC.
The research firm expects mobile phone shipments, made up of feature phones and smartphones to break the 100 million mark in the Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) region.
Both feature phones and smartphones showed a strong growth in 2010 and this year, they will have an even better performance.
In 2011, the shipments will rise by a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34 per cent in the APEJ region, nearly doubling to 942 million units from 551 million units shipped in 2010.
Last year, Chinese and local brands were driving up the sub-US$100 segment resulting in a 17 per cent year-on-year growth for feature phones.
"Smartphones were a hot item in 2010, with more than double the shipments of 2009. In 2011, IDC expects this fire to keep burning as mobile phone vendors race to get consumers on higher-margin devices, operators look to pull up revenues on mobile data, and mobile platform stakeholders battle to woo app developers," said Melissa Chau, research manager for client devices, domain research group at IDC Asia Pacific.
Although feature phones market is hot right now, by 2015, smartphones will grow eight times as fast as feature phones to reach 359 million units. Also, three in five mobile phones shipped in 2015 will be smartphones, according to IDC.
Smartphones do not come cheap and out of reach for many consumers. Still, they are becoming popular and a lot of revenue is generated from mature markets such as South Korea.
Nokia is attempting to reduce prices for Symbian OS phones and bringing the price below US$200 for emerging markets such as India and Vietnam.
More consumers from emerging markets can hope to hold a smartphone in the near future as IDC expects a lot more brands to come in at a lower price point on Android for 2011 and beyond.
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