Smartphone shipments will account for 50% of all handset shipments by 2014 and become the largest handset segment in the world, according to the latest market forecasts from ABI Research.
By 2018, 2.4 billion handset shipments with smartphones will account for 69% of all handset shipments. LTE handsets will account for 35% of all handset shipments and 50% of smartphone shipments in 2018.
“Barring an unlikely collapse in Samsung’s business, even Apple will be chasing Samsung’s technology, software, and device leadership in 2013 through the foreseeable future,” said senior analyst Michael Morgan.
Since 2010 Samsung has grown its smartphone market share from 8% to over 30% in 2012; meanwhile Apple’s market share is expected to peak in 2013 at 22%; remaining flat through 2018.
While Samsung’s rise has been on the back of Android, which accounts for 90% of Samsung’s smartphone shipments, the future smartphone OS landscape will likely be heavily influenced by the importance Samsung places on the elements of its OS portfolio of Bada, Tizen, Windows Phone and Android.
According to ABI's research, LTE smartphones, and handsets will experience a rapid increase in shipment penetration, just as handset OEM focus has driven the success of the Android ecosystem.
“With the successful launch of the iPhone 5 and competing LTE handsets from other leading OEMs, LTE handsets will be found in the hands of many consumers who do not even have access to LTE networks,” said senior practice director Jeff Orr. “Apple is demonstrating to the market that LTE is not the only reason to buy a premium handset.”
LTE is predicted to be the fastest-growing WWAN technology in history. The growth in smartphone shipment penetration will be driven by the rapidly growing low-cost smartphone segment. ABI Research forecasts that smartphones with wholesale ASPs under $250 will account for 62% of smartphone shipments by 2018.
These findings are part of the Mobile Handset Markets Database, which includes files detailing smartphone and mobile handset shipments, forecasts, and market share.