The worldwide mobile phone market is forecast to grow 7.3% year over year in 2013, marking a sharp rebound from the nearly flat (1.2%) growth experienced in 2012, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. The research firm says that strong demand for smartphones across all geographies will drive much of this growth as worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to surpass 1 billion units for the first time in a single year.
IDC added that the overall mobile phone market is growing faster than previously forecast thanks to a stronger-than-expected first half of the year driven by strong gains in emerging markets and the sub-$200 smartphone segment. IDC previously projected 5.8% growth for the year. Vendors are now forecast to ship more than 1.8 billion mobile phones this year, growing to over 2.3 billion mobile phones in 2017.