Samsun galaxy s3 phoneIn 2013, for the first time, shipments of smartphones are forecast to top sales of feature phones. With shipments expected at 50.1% of all mobile phones shipped worldwide, smartphones are touted to ship 918.6 million units in 2013, according to the latest data from IDC.

Lower prices and faster networks (3G and 4G) are cited as the main reasons for rising sales of smartphones. As vendors like Samsung Electronics, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), and perhaps even Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) offer lower-priced smartphones, shipments are likely to increase in emerging markets like India, Brazil, and even China.

Another interesting bit of data on the smartphone market came today from ABI Research. The firm expects mobile apps downloads to top 7 billion in 2013 - more than 10 for each man, woman, and child on the planet. Apps for the Android operating system from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) are forecast to get 58% of the downloads for smartphone apps, followed by 33% for Apple. Downloads for tablets are expected to be dominated by Apple's iPad, with 75% of the downloads.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Consumer Electronics, International Markets, PC Companies, Software, Telecom & Wireless Tagged: AAPL, BBRY, featured, GOOG, NOK

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