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The number of smartphones in use in the third quarter of 2012 totaled 1.03 billion, a 47 percent increase from third quarter 2011. Nokia introduced the first smartphone in 1996 and it has taken the smartphone industry 16 years to top the 1 billion mark. By 2015, the research firm predicts that number to double to 2 billion. The smartphone market in 2011 was estimated to be worth $219 billion according to Bloomberg Industries.
"Smartphone penetration is still relatively low," Neil Mawston, London-based executive director at Strategy Analytics, said in the statement. "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."
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Apple has recently sent out invites to an event on October 23, 2012, which is widely expected to be the unveiling of the iPad Mini. "We view the smaller iPad as mostly an incremental opportunity for Apple," Janney Capital Markets analyst Bill Choi said. The iPad Mini likely will attract more women and younger users (eight to 16 years old), he says. "But (we) see some modest cannibalization risk to the iPad and iPod Touch."
According market research firm IDC Android based smartphones dominated the global smartphone market as it accounted for 68 percent of all smartphone shipments in the second quarter. Google's Android and Apple's iOS combined for 85 percent of the all smartphone shipments in the second quarter. "The Androids are taking over the world of smartphones," says Daniel Gleeson, IHS mobile analyst. "We expect the Android operating system to become the first to reach the milestone of 1 billion shipments during its lifetime."
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