Research firm Gartner believes sales of smartphones will explode over the next few years, the firm predicts the market will grow 52% this year to 190 million units and says they expect shipments will reach over 700 million in 2012.
"We are expecting the smartphone market to grow strongly with royalty free operating systems like Symbian, Android, and Linux pushing deeper down into product portfolios," Milanesi said. "Apple's iPhone isn't huge in sales volume, but it helped energize the market. People are now walking into stores and asking for a smartphone, something that didn't really happen in the past."
The smartphone market is expected to grow 52% this year compared with 2007, to 190 million units. That's 15%, or $65 billion-worth, of the total 1.28 billion handsets expected to be sold this year.
In 2012, Milanesi expects smartphone unit sales to reach over 700 million of the total 1.8 billion handset market; that's 65%, or $200 billion-worth, of the total $312 billion mobile phone market at that time.
"Royalty free operating systems will help reduce the cost of handsets in the future," said Milanesi. "Operators will push phone makers to get more smartphones to the market since it is easier for them to deploy services."