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Global smartphone shipments forecast from 2010 to 2018 (in million units)

 Shipments in million units
2009 173.5
2010 304.7
2011 494.5
2012 725.3
2013 1,009.4
2014* 1,288
2015* 1,284
2016* 1,435
2017* 1,579
2018* 1,873
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Here you can see a forecast for global smartphone shipments from 2010 to 2018. According to the forecast, more than 1.28 billion smartphones will be shipped worldwide in 2014. By 2018, the number is expected to climb to over 1.87 billion.


Global smartphone shipments - additional information

Shipments for smartphones are expected to reach over 1.7 billion by 2018, a tenfold increase from the amount of shipments in 2009. This means that by 2017, an estimated 34 percent of the world’s population will have a smartphone, a figure that was at less than 10 percent in 2011. This upturn in the smartphone market has developed it into a multi-billion dollar industry with revenue projected to top 272 billion U.S. dollars in 2015.

The global success of this industry can be attributed to the growing popularity of several key operating systems, namely Android and iOS. By the end of 2013, these two companies held over 90 percent of the global smartphone market share, with Android alone controlling almost 80 percent. This amounted to 226.1 million Android units and 51 million iOS units being shipped in the final quarter of 2013. The domination in the market from Android looks set to continue with the shipment of Android phones in 2016 expected to hit around 680 million units.

However, despite both Apple and Android being based in the U.S., it is the Chinese smartphone industry that looks set to dominate the market in the coming years. Forecasts predict that China will control just under a third of the smartphone market in 2017, in comparison to the U.S.’s estimated share of 12.1 percent.

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