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IDC Sees Overall Slow Phone Growth, But Smartphone Boom Continues
IDC Sees Overall Slow Phone Growth, But Smartphone Boom Continues

By Jennifer LeClaire
December 4, 2012 11:40AM

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"Sluggish economic conditions worldwide have cast a pall over the mobile phone market this year," said IDC's Kevin Restivo. The market research firm predicts 1.7 billion phones will be shipped worldwide this year, up just 1.4 percent over last year. But IDC says 717.5 million of those phones will be smartphones, and that segment is up 45.1 percent over last year.
 



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IDC predicted iOS will maintain its position as the clear No. 2 platform behind Android at the end of 2012. That said, IDC also predicted the iPhone's high price point will make it cost-prohibitive for some users in emerging markets. IDC suggested Apple needs to examine the possibility of offering less expensive models, similar to its iPod line.

Windows Phone vs. BlackBerry

IDC also predicted BlackBerry OS will grow slowly but largely maintain share over the coming years following the BlackBerry 10 launch next year -- but Windows Phone will battle with BlackBerry for the No. 3 spot in 2013.

Windows Phone will build on the progress it made in 2012, with Nokia establishing its presence and HTC solidly jumping back into the race, IDC said. The market research firm expects contributions by Samsung, ZTE, and Huawei to help Microsoft's cause.

Llamas said Windows Phone stands to gain the most market share as its smartphone and carrier partners have gained valuable experience in selling the differentiated experience Windows Phone has to offer: "What bears close observation is how BlackBerry's new platform, BlackBerry 10, and multiple versions of Linux will affect the market once the devices running these systems are available."

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