Smartphone Shipments Up 74 Per cent in 2010

Global shipments of smartphones increased by 74 per cent in 2010 to 295m units, according to a new report from Berg Insight. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32.4 per cent, shipments are forecast to reach 1.2bn units in 2015.

Also in 2010, the global user base of smartphones increased by 38 per cent year-on-year to an estimated 470m active users. Over the next five years, the global smartphone user base is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 42.9 per cent to reach 2.8bn in 2015.

Smartphones are receiving more attention from handset manufacturers, network operators and application developers,” says André Malm, senior analyst at Berg Insight. “Most importantly, an increasing number of users are now discovering how smartphones can act as personal computing devices, enabling access to the mobile web and apps, as well as voice and text services.”

Although high-end devices tend to get most attention, Berg believes the primary growth will come from mid-range and low-end smartphones. “Chipset developers and handset vendors are working on technologies that will ensure a good user experience also for low cost smartphones”, says Malm. “The challenge is to develop a handset with enough memory, graphics performance and processing power to run the operating system with multiple applications, while ensuring a responsive system with fluid user interface, and still keep costs down.”
Malm adds that smartphones will also benefit from advancements in chipset design. In the next five years, further performance increases will come from dual- or quad-core application and graphics processors. These will enable smartphones to rival the performance of dedicated games consoles and notebook computers. At the same time, new user interfaces will be developed that make better use of sensors such as accelerometers and gyroscopes, as well as cameras to detect movement or gestures, without the need to touch the display.