Mobile Goes Global

1 Jan

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Global smartphone shipments will increase by 45.1 percent this year over last, according to IDC, to 717.5 million units (out of 1.7 billion total mobile phones). A big portion of that growth happened in China, which IDC expects to account for 26.5 percent of the global smartphone market, rising from 18.3 percent last year and surpassing the U.S. as the world’s biggest market.

Android was by far the dominant operating system on smartphones shipped in 2012, claiming 68.3 percent of the market, says IDC.

Samsung, which makes a series of Android phones covering a fairly wide price range, was the world’s leader in shipments this year. IHS iSuppli projects Samsung will have accounted for 28 percent of new smartphone shipments in 2012, with Apple in second place at 20 percent. In 2011, Samsung’s share was 20 percent, to Apple’s 19 percent.

The tablet market also greatly expanded in 2012. Gartner projects 136 million shipments in 2012—up from 55 million in 2011. Apple still dominates this area, but competitors like Samsung and Amazon are having increasing success.

Overall, IDC says smartphones and tablets will represent 70 percent of the 1.2 billion “smart connected devices” shipped in 2012, with desktop and portable PCs combining for the remaining 30 percent.

As of November, 13 percent of all Internet traffic was headed to or from mobile devices.

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