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Electronics Production | June 15, 2011

Cellphone shipments to set new record high in 2011

Shipments of cellular handsets are on pace to reach a new record high in 2011. IC Insights forecasts 1.55 billion cellular phones will ship in 2011, a 9% increase over the 1.4 billion shipped in 2010.
Good growth is forecast to continue for cellphone unit shipments in 2012 (8%) before declining slightly in the cyclical slowdown year of 2013. In 2014, cellphone sales are forecast to reach 1.79 billion units, about 26% higher than the shipments registered in 2010.

The 2009-2014 cellphone unit shipment CAGR is forecast to be less than half the 2002-2009 CAGR. However, surging shipments of smartphones, and their associated high IC content, are forecast to have a huge impact on the IC market through the forecast period. For example, a typical smartphone contains 7x as much NAND flash memory as a typical 2G handset.

Smartphones accounted for about 25% of total cellphone shipments in 1Q/11 compared to 16% in the same quarter a year earlier. In 2011, total smartphone shipments are forecast to grow 60% to 440 million units, after increasing 56% to 275 million in 2010!

Between 2009 and 2014, smartphone shipments are expected to rise at a CAGR of 37% to 845 million units in the final year of the forecast period. That growth rate is more than 5x the projected CAGR for total cellphone unit shipments (7%) in the five-year timeframe. Almost half of all cellphone handsets shipped in 2014 (47%) are expected to be some type of smartphone, up from 19% in 2010.

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