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Smartphone shipments to soar

One billion smartphones will be shipped annually by 2016, according to Juniper Research

Smartphone shipments to soar
Smartphone shipments are set to soar as prices lower making the devices available to a wider market, according to Juniper Research.

Smartphone shipments will reach one billion annually by 2016, according to a new Juniper Research report; this figure is up from 302 million in 2010, an increase of 230%.

Smartphones will make-up the majority of shipments in five years' time as prices drop and the devices become available to a wider market.

The competition between smartphone vendors is so intense that Juniper says the best way to compete in the market is through lowering the price of phones and releasing handsets that cost $150 or less.

"In developed markets, many consumers will want to upgrade from a feature phone to a smartphone, but still pay a feature phone price. In emerging markets though, lower average consumer spending power and lack of operator subsidies will make a low price point essential," said report author Daniel Ashdown.

Juniper has predicted that the availability of open-source operating systems, such as Android, and the falling cost of mobile phone components will make this possible.

However, the market for standard-priced smartphones $151-$399 and premium smartphones $400 and above will remain robust due to new technologies arriving on these devices - including NFC, 3D and Biometrics; features of other devices being integrated into smartphones, including gamepads; and smartphones reaching the market which can morph into other devices - notably tablets and netbooks.

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