Smartphone shipments will receive a substantial boost with the introduction of 4G technology.
An extra 230 million shipments will mean that by 2016 there will be around 1.77 billion units shipped as mobile owners get their hands on ultra-fast-connected handsets.
That is the prediction of analyst firm Ovum, who forecast a steady growth of 2.5 percent over the next five years following the bite of the recession in 2009.
Shipments of mobile broadband enabled handsets in particular will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 15.1 percent from 2010 to 2016, reaching 962 million to push up overall numbers.
“Our latest analysis has shown that after a difficult 2009 due to the recession, the mobile handset market bounced back in 2010, with shipments reaching 1.49 billion units,” Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach said.
“This strong performance corrected for the growth that didn’t happen in 2009 and put the market on course for a period of steady growth over the next five years.”
Top of the range broadband enabled handsets will not be the only factor however. The explosion of smartphones in emerging markets will also account for the increase in shipments.
Leach noted: “Smartphones are not the only story and there will still be growth in non-smart broadband phones, particularly in emerging markets.”