Annual growth of 35 per cent is expected to further increase Samsung’s lead over former market leader Apple in 2013.
That’s according to Strategy Analytics, which predicts smartphone shipments will grow 27 per cent to 875m units this year, although that’s down sharply from the 41 per cent jump seen in 2012.
Samsung is predicted to sell 290m smartphones – up from 215m last year. Apple handset sales are expected to jump 33 per cent to 180m.
If true this would give Samsung a 33 per cent share of the smartphone market, leaving Apple with 21 per cent.
All of which has led some commentators to predict a launch of an iPhone Mini, although possibly not until 2014
"We expect Samsung to slightly extend its lead over Apple this year because of its larger multitier product portfolio," Strategy Analytics’ executive director Neil Mawston told Reuters. "Samsung plays in more segments and this should enable it to capture more volume than Apple.
"We think Apple will have to launch an ‘iPhone Mini’ at some point over the next three years to address the hundreds of millions of prepaid users worldwide that cannot afford the current iPhone.
"The iPhone 5 is growing fast and profitably right now, so there is little incentive for Apple to launch an ‘iPhone Mini’ this year. We expect the iPhone Mini to be more likely next year, in 2014 when Apple will be forced to discover fresh growth streams.”