According to the latest market study by Analysys Mason, the number and variety of smartphones in use worldwide is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 32 percent between 2010 and 2014 -- with Smartphones forecast to grow to 26 percent of all handsets by 2014.
More than 50 percent of this growth will be generated in developing Asia–Pacific and Latin American markets. Western European, North American and developed Asia–Pacific markets combined will account for less than 30 percent of total growth.
Analysys Mason concludes that it's clear the market for smartphones will soon transform.
Jim Morrish, Principal Analyst, responsible for Analysys Mason's Mobile Content and Applications research program says, "Smartphone markets in the developed world will continue to be fiercely competitive, but key handset manufacturers such as Nokia and Samsung are lining-up to tap a new opportunity in emerging markets."
Morrish says that there will be key differences in competitive dynamics between developed and developing markets.
"The ingredients of a successful mobile data proposition in emerging markets will be different to those in developed markets, and I don't think that an iPhone will be one of them. In the medium term, Android-, bada- and Symbian OS-based mobile devices will dominate these new markets."
According to their report, consumer devices, rather than business devices, will become the primary driver of smartphone growth.
"Ultimately, business handsets currently represent a little under 10 percent of all handsets in the market, so although we expect that in excess of 40 percent of business handsets will be smartphones by 2014, the sheer number of residential subscriptions dictate that consumer users will drive smartphone market growth," says Morrish.