2009 will be the year of the smartphone, according to analysts at ABI Research.
With global mobile phone sales contracting, ABI expects smartphones to buck the trend and continue strong sales growth.
ABI’s report, ‘Mobile Devices Market Sizing and Share’, said over 170 million smartphones were shipped in 2008.
That figure is expected to grow as mobile operators seek to boost revenues through selling data plans.
Jake Saunders, Asia-Pacific vice president of ABI Research, said: “What is certain is that handset vendors will be trying to convince everyone they should own a smartphone.”
According to ABI, Nokia is likely to maintain its dominance of the market share due to its N series of smartphones and the popular 5800 handset.
Meanwhile, Blackberry-maker RIM and Apple are well positioned to capitalise on increased adoption of smartphones.
RIM currently holds 2% of the global handset market, whilst Apple holds 1.1%.
A recent study by Juniper Research revealed that smartphone sales are expected to grow 95% over the next four years to 300 million per year by 2013.