Smartphones to become a mass market phenomenon in 2013
Global smartphone shipments are expected to touch 1 billion for the first time in 2013, according to a report from Deloitte.
Deloitte predicts that the smartphone will be used for everyday purposes around the world in 2013.
The report expects that the number of active phones with either a touch screen or an alphabet keyboard will be 2 billion by the end of the year.
500 million phones have already been sold for $100 or less, and currently there are plans under way to create devices for as low as $50 in emerging markets.
One in five owners of portable computers rarely or never connects to the web, and hundreds of millions may not even bother to subscribe to a data package from their mobile network.
These types of owners will mainly use the devices for text messaging, voice calling and clicking photographs.
Deloitte telecoms research head and the author of the report Paul Lee was quoted by the Guardian as saying that "They are like [traditional] feature phones in a smartphone casing."
"Smartphone penetration goes up but data plan penetration doesn't go up as quickly. Not every mobile will be used in the same way," Lee said.
In 2012, a report from Strategy Analytics found that global LTE smartphone shipments were expected to increase from 90.9 million units in 2012 to 275 million by 2013.