Mobile Phone Sales Will Hit 1.86 Billion in 2013 as Strong Smartphone Growth Continues

CCS Insight expects 983 million smartphones to be sold in 2013, accounting for over half of the total mobile phone market

Analysts predict that by 2017 more mobile devices will be in use than people on the planet


10 June 2013: Over 6.6 billion mobile phones will be in use by the end of 2017, according to CCS Insight's new market forecast, published today. Two-thirds of them will be smartphones, up from less than 25 percent in 2012.

In the first three months of 2013, smartphone shipments exceeded those of non-smartphones for the first time ever. Sales of smartphones have been helped by new, cheaper devices, especially, but not only, in emerging markets. The mobile and media analyst firm expects 1.86 billion mobile phones to be shipped in 2013, of which 53 percent will be smartphones.

The blisteringly fast growth of smartphones in Western Europe and North America will see penetration levels approaching saturation point in these markets within three years. More than 50 percent of the mobile phones in use in these regions are already smartphones. CCS Insight predicts this figure will grow to more than 80 percent in 2015. Beyond 2015, much of the growth will come from emerging markets.

At the same time, sales of tablets are rising at a staggering rate. Altogether, global shipments of smart mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) will increase 2.5 times between 2012 and 2017, to reach 2.1 billion units. CCS Insight predicts that by 2017 the combined number of mobile phones and tablets in use will exceed the world's population.

Forecast infographic

Forecast infographic. Click for larger version or PDF.

Despite the strong growth there's no room for complacency. Even dominant operating systems like Apple's iOS and Google's Android will face challenges. Marina Koytcheva, director of forecasting at CCS Insight, comments: "Having defined the modern smartphone era, Apple is struggling to keep up with overall smartphone market growth, particularly as that growth shifts toward emerging markets. Apple will have to choose between sustaining its profit margin and holding onto market share."

Koytcheva continues: "Android on the other hand is highly dependent on Samsung. As profit margins are squeezed Google will need to ensure Android remains a viable choice for other phone-makers."

CCS Insight points out that competition won't stand still either. Koytcheva comments: "Microsoft desperately needs to make an impact in smartphones as the PC market shows no sign of leaving the doldrums. Similarly, BlackBerry seems determined to remain a relevant competitor. And let's not forget new upstarts like Tizen, Firefox OS, Sailfish OS, Baidu Yi and Aliyun, which are all hustling to grab a share of this lucrative market."

When it comes to smartphones it's not just about competing software platforms. "Giving phone users the next generation of communication technology is going to be critical", says Koytcheva. "Mobile network operators are investing huge sums in 4G technology and are pushing hard to get 4G-enabled phones into people's hands."

CCS Insight expects sales of 4G devices to grow tenfold between 2012 and 2017, to 650 million units, with almost half of them going to emerging markets in 2017.

Notes to editors

A larger PDF version of the infographic above can be found here:
http://www.ccsinsight.com/images/images/ccs_insight_forecast_0613.pdf

About CCS Insight

CCS Insight is a global telecommunications analyst company. It provides comprehensive services that are tailored to meet the needs of individual clients, helping them make sense of the connected world. Follow CCS Insight on Twitter (@ccsinsight).

For further information contact:

Rachael Thomas/Hugo Deacon

Harvard PR

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7861 1627

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Hot News

Team Tweets

CCS Insight
How Atos is working to deliver data to a predicted 8 billion devices during the Rio Olympics: https://t.co/pAqz9JTdTf
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
RT @kestermann: The first tentative sign of the BT brand coming back to the high-street as EE promotes free BT Sport for 6 months. https://…
Follow Shaun
Ben Wood
Vodafone UK thinking about building own fibre network? Apparently so according to Sunday Telegraph. https://t.co/1ts8vYiZ7W
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
@Intel Q2 IoT sales +2% YoY to $572m, slowed by high inventory after strong Q1. Many sectors using IoT have slower cycles than tech players.
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
Quite amazing 2Q16 performance from Samsung given smartphone mkt malaise and Huawei strength. Healthy 16% op margin & smartphone up 5% YoY
Follow Geoff
Nicholas McQuire
A better $MOBL 2Q. Going on the reporting offensive as well as first #EMM to report cumulative seats: 10M since 09 https://t.co/4R0O76rVA4
Follow Nicholas
Paolo Pescatore
Our take on Comcast 2Q16 results $CMCSA #xfinity #x1 https://t.co/6eiJntUslR https://t.co/a39JriiyAP
Follow Paolo
Marina Koytcheva
Something to think about. UK economy can't claim big exposure to tech. Political events from last month don't help https://t.co/ctO3y9zQvT
Follow Marina
Kester Mann
RT @benwood: Vodafone UK thinking about building own fibre network? Apparently so according to Sunday Telegraph. https://t.co/1ts8vYiZ7W
Follow Kester
George Jijiashvili
Withings, Fitbit and Garmin devices at Gatwick Dixons. Jawbone suspiciously missing despite the banner ad #wearables https://t.co/72Fq9id6Du
Follow George
Rebecca Morley
Brexit's Effects on Short-Term Market Forecasts https://t.co/C8I4gjZvZS
Follow Rebecca
Katie Taylor
Multiple Sclerosis could be reversed with calorie-restricted diet, study suggests https://t.co/Ak4mJh3mSI
Follow Katie

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
Road to Rio Atos Shifts to Cloud Infrastructure to Manage IT at the Olym... Read more
Blog Post
A Processing Titan Nvidia's Powerful New Graphics Card Made for a Virtual World... Read more
Blog Post
Brexit's Effects on Short-Term Market Forecasts Assessing Early Changes to the UK Business Environment A mo... Read more
More blog

Latest Company News

Blog Post
UK Wearables Sales to Reach Five Million Units in 2016 1.7 million fitness trackers to be sold this year ... Read more
More news

CCS Insight on

Watch the CCS Insight channel on YouTube. > Follow us now