Global Smartphone Sales to Exceed 1 Billion

Global smartphone sales are expected to surpass the 1-billion mark for the first time this year.

Market researcher Strategy Analytics said on Wednesday that sales will likely rise 21.2 percent on-year to 1.2 billion units this year. This would represent a 10-fold increase since Apple released the first iPhone in 2007.

The Asia-Pacific region accounts for the lion's share of global sales at 646.1 million units. Due to strong demand in China, the world's largest market, the region is expected to post growth of 82.6 percent this year. North America ranks second at 153.2 million units, followed by Western Europe (150.9 million) and Latin America (120.4 million).

Analysts say the smartphone market is approaching saturation point.

The research firm estimates that global smartphone sales will settle at 1.65 billion units by 2020, bringing the average annual growth rate down to 6 percent in the interim.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 10, 2014 11:21 KST