For the first time, more than 50% of handsets shipped worldwide in the next 12 months will be 3G or 4G mobile phones. That’s the prediction in a new report from ABI Research.
The company expects growth of around 8% this year, resulting in 1.67 billion handsets being shipped worldwide by the end of 2012. Last year, ABI Research estimates that North America saw 228 million mobile handsets shipped - an increase of 14% on 2010, resulting in the area’s highest year-on-year growth for more than five years.
Kevin Burden, vice president and practice director for mobile devices at ABI Research, said “North America may only represent 15% of feature and smartphone units shipped globally, but due to the high proportion of high-end smartphone sales, it constitutes 40% of total smartphones sold by value. It underscores what is at stake in the patent battles between Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Google, HTC, Microsoft, and even British Telecom.”