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Smartphone sales surpass one billion mark
US-based research firm says third quarter of 2012 saw worldwide smartphone sales reach 1.038 billion.
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2012 07:28
Strategy Analytics expects number of smartphone users to double in under three years [GALLO/GETTY]

Global smartphone sales have surpassed the one billion mark, according to a new report.

Strategy Analytics, a US-based research and consulting firm, released it findings on Wednesday.

The number of users topped one billion in the third quarter of 2012, with one out of every seven people worldwide carrying the device.

"By the third quarter of 2011, we estimate there were 708 million smartphones in use worldwide. After a further year of soaring demand, the number of smartphones in use worldwide reached 1.038 billion units," the Scott Bicheno, senior analyst at the Boston-based firm said.

The research firm said it expected the number of users to double to two billion in less than three years.

"Smartphone penetration is still relatively low," Neil Mawston, executive director, said.

"Most of the world does not yet own a smartphone and there remains huge scope for future growth, particularly in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa."

The research firm cited Apple's iPhone, launched in 2007, as a milestone for smartphone sales.

"The iPhone revolutionized smartphone design and it catalyzed industry growth," a statement read. Since its release last month, the latest model of the Cupertino-based tech giant's phone has moved more than five million units.

But it was Nokia, now struggling behind Apple and Korea's Samsung in the smartphone race, that released the Nokia Communicator, the first smartphone in 1996.

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