Global smartphone shipments are set to surpass shipments of basic and feature phones this year. According to the latest Smartphone Quarterly from NPD DisplaySearch, smartphone shipments will reach 937 million units in 2013, compared to just 889 million units for basic phones and feature phones. Between 2011 and 2016, smartphone shipments will grow at a CAGR of 26%, to 1.45 billion units, accounting for two-thirds of the mobile phone market.
As you would expect, emerging economies are driving most of the smartphone growth, due in large part to introduction of 3G and 4G networks. In these markets, entry-level smartphones priced below $200 are gaining momentum. In fact, this sector comprises 55% of shipments in China, the world’s largest smartphone market.
At the high end of the market, LTE-enabled smartphones will reach 23% market share in 2013, prompting demand for large screen displays. In that sense, shipments of full HD AMOLED and LTPS LCD panels are forecast to increase significantly, from 1.7 million units in 2012 to 113 million units in 2013.
Screen sizes are also changing with the market. In 2013, 57% of smartphone displays will range between 4-5 inches, while screens larger than 5 inches will grow to 16% of the market…