According to a new report by Informa Telecoms & Media, smartphone sales in emerging markets are set to overtake those in developed markets by 2016.
In 2010, the volume of sales in emerging markets was half that of the developed ones, which were reaching just under 200 million. Emerging markets are predicted to overtake the developed ones during 2015, to reach over 450 million handsets in 2016 against just under 400 million in advanced markets.
Smartphone strategies are becoming a crucial part of operators' strategies in emerging markets. Indeed, Neil Ahlsten, New Business Development for Google across Sub-Saharan Africa, pointed out at last year's AfricaCom that Kenyan operator Safaricom's mobile broadband revenues grew significantly after it launched an active smartphone strategy. This topic will be discussed at the next events in the Com World Series, with panel discussions bringing together mobile operators, device manufacturers and software providers.