Despite the recession, research firm iSuppli estimates sales of smartphones will grow between 6 and 11 percent this year, totaling up to 193.3 million units.
Tina Teng, a senior analyst for wireless communications at iSuppli (El Segundo, Calif.) said shipments could grow by 11 percent if wireless network operators cut fees for data services and offer aggressive subsidies to reduce consumer smartphone prices. But if if consumer confidence continues to erode, growth in smartphone shipments will be closer to 6 percent, Teng warned.
Depending on the growth rate, smartphones could account for between 16.6 percent and 17.4 percent of total mobile handset unit shipments in 2009, according to iSuppli's forecast.
Overall handset sales are expected to decrease 9 percent in 2009, topping out at 1.08 billion units, according to Strategy Analytics, another market research firm. ISuppli is projecting overall handset shipments to decrease 12 percent to 1.11 billion units in 2009.
iSuppli estimates global smartphone unit shipments will reach 400 million to 450 million units in 2013.