"Throughout the world there is continued momentum for smartphone uptake. These devices accounted for around 55 percent of all mobile phones sold in Q3 2013, compared to around 40 percent for the full year in 2012," the Ericsson Mobility Report said.

The report said mobile subscriptions across the world are expected to reach 9.3 billion by 2019, and more than 60 percent of these, 5.6 billion, will be for smartphones. "Currently, smartphones represent 25-30 percent of all mobile phone subscriptions, yet they account for the majority (55 percent) of mobile phones sold in Q3," the report said.

As per the report, total mobile subscriptions up to and including Q3 2013 are at around 6.6 billion, including 113 million new subscriptions added during the third quarter. India saw the second highest number of new mobile subscriptions in Q3 2013, following China.

There was a net addition of 10 million mobile subscriptions in India, taking the total number of Indian mobile subscriptions to 742 million, it said. "Total smartphone subscriptions will reach 1.9 billion at the end of 2013 and are expected to grow to 5.6 billion in 2019," it said.

Ericsson said one of the main reasons for a jump in smartphone subscriptions is a notable increase in Asia Pacific and Middle East and Africa subscriptions, as people will be likely to exchange their basic phones for smartphones.

"The rapid pace of smartphone uptake has been phenomenal and is set to continue. It took more than five years to reach the first billion smartphone subscriptions, but it will take less than two to hit the 2 billion mark. Between now and 2019, smartphone subscriptions will triple," Ericsson Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy Douglas Gilstrap said.

"Interestingly, this trend will be driven by uptake in India and other emerging markets as lower-priced smartphone models become available," Gilstrap added. The report said due to availability of smartphones in lower price ranges, in 2016 there will be more smartphone subscriptions globally than those for basic phones.


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