Smartphone shipments expected to hit 1 billion in 2013

A variety of cheaper smartphone options that don't use operating systems are expected to hit markets soon.

Posted on Jan 9, 2013 by YuMe

With a handful of mobile device launches set for the first half of 2013, Deloitte predicted smartphone shipments to reach 1 billion worldwide, boosting the total customer base of smartphones to almost 2 billion, according to TechCrunch.This rising market for smartphones means that brands should more heavily consider advertising on mobile devices over the next 12 months.

Broadening the definition of 'smartphone'
Deloitte's Global Mobile Consumer Survey will be released next week and the research and consulting firm has released a series of teaser data to preview the report. While traditionally a smartphone is a mobile device that runs an operating system like iOS or Android, Deloitte expanded the definition to any phone that has a touch screen, a full keyboard and runs apps, CNET explained.

"In 2013, any full touch-screen based device, and in some markets, any device with a full QWERTY keyboard, might be described by manufacturers, presented by salespeople, or perceived by purchasers as a smartphone," the report said, according to CNET. "However in marketing and in stores there is no enforceable rule on what can or cannot be promoted as a smartphone, and the smartphone moniker is likely to describe an increasingly diverse range of capabilities."

Many consumers, particularly "middle majority adopters," will likely opt for a phone that has a touch screen or a full keyboard and can run apps.

Changes ahead
A variety of cheaper smartphone options that don't use operating systems are expected to hit markets soon. While iPhones and Android-powered cellphones will continue to sell for several hundreds of dollars, Deloitte predicted roughly 500 million of the smartphones sold in 2013 will cost less than $100, many of which will carry a price tag lower than $50.

With more "dumbphone" options on the market, Deloittes predicted hundreds of millions will not use a data package for a variety of reasons, CNET stated. While entry-level smartphones and luxury older models have limited features, many device owners may not be able to or be interested in their phones' offerings. Meanwhile, a large portion of smartphone users worldwide won't be able to afford data charges. Companies that rely on mobile video ads to market themselves should keep this in mind when determining who their content is reaching.