Smartphone Sales Will Dwarf PC Sales This Year And Reach A Staggering 1.5 Billion Per Year By 2016

By Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

If you think smartphones are hot today, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Smartphone sales blew past the number of PCs sold last year, and they’ll be nearly twice PC sales this year, analyst Alex Cocotas of BI Intelligence predicts.

More startling, smartphone sales will exceed 1.5 billion units per year by 2016. This compares to about 350 million PCs and 1.7 billion mobile handsets sold globally last year.

Smartphone sales will be driven by two main factors, BI Intelligence says:

  • Replacement of nearly 5 billion “dumbphones” with smartphones (smartphones currently make up only 10% of handsets worldwide)
  • Price declines. The average price of a smartphone will drop from about $315 last year to $200 over the next several years

This will obviously have a huge impact on the mobile Internet economy, which is already exploding from the growth of smartphone penetration in the past few years.

Some other highlights from the report:

  • Smartphone unit sales will grow at nearly a 30% compound annual growth rate over the next five years
  • Smartphones will represent about two-thirds of all mobile phone purchases by 2016, 
  • Smartphones will be a $320 billion market by 2016.

These forecasts are much higher than those of other industry analysts’ who generally expect smartphone unit sales to hit about 1 billion a year by 2015.

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