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Smartphone shipments in 2014 will grow 23.8 percent from a year earlier to more than 1.25 billion units, a research company said Thursday.

In a quarterly report aimed at vendors, software developers, service providers, component suppliers and investors, International Data said units shipped annually will hit the 1.8 billion mark in 2018.

"The smartphone market is starting to slow," IDC researcher Ramon Llamas said. "The key for vendors now is to maintain a presence in the higher-margin mature markets, while establishing a sustainable presence within the fast-growing emerging markets."

The company forecast a 12.7 percent worldwide compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2018.

In mature markets like the U.S. this year, unit growth will slow to just 4.9 percent, while emerging markets like Asia will see unit growth of more than 32 percent. Price per unit in mature markets, however will average $400, versus in emerging at about $250.

In 2014, IDC expects emerging market smartphone volume to grow to 920.8 million units, accounting for 73.5 percent of all volume shipped.

IDC's outlook for emerging market smartphone volume is 1.4 billion units by 2018, growing to 79.5 percent of worldwide volume.

Posted-In: News Guidance Econ #s Tech

 

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