Smartphones to account for half of connections in 2016

Madrid, Feb 23 (IANS) Smartphones will be used for 50 percent of all mobile connections worldwide by the end of 2016, according to a prediction made by GSMA Intelligence.

GSMA Intelligence is part of GSMA, the representative body of the mobile communications industry, Xinhua reported.

India will see an important rise in smartphone use, with an adoption rate climbing from 23 percent at the moment to an estimated 50 percent by 2020.

The estimate has motivated some Chinese manufacturers to begin producing in the country.

China is also expected to continue playing a major role in increasing the number of smartphone connections although it is already the world’s biggest smartphone market with 890 million connections in 2015 (129.4 million up on 2014), the agency said on Monday.

The Chinese market has benefited from an expanding middle class and thanks to companies such as Huawei and ZTE, it also has strong domestic manufacturers.

Although the growth in smartphone use in China has slowed since 2015, sales remain strong as users look to upgrade to high-end devices, the agency said.

Myanmar saw over 600 percent increase in smartphone use from 10 to 66 percent between the second quarter of 2014 and the last quarter of 2015, with many first time handset purchasers entering the market with a smartphone rather than a more basic device.

In an article published in the Mobile World Daily magazine distributed at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, GSMA Intelligence confirmed that smartphones accounted for 45 percent of global mobile connections in the last quarter of 2015, when five years ago they have accounted for less than 10 percent of connections.

Some 2.9 billion smartphone connections have been added over the past five years and a further 2.5 billion are predicted for the next five.

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