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Global mobile phone shipments forecast to rise in 2013

TAIPEI -- Global shipments of mobile phones will increase in 2013 as more smartphones are launched worldwide, according to a forecast by a local institute.

In 2013, annual shipments of mobile phones worldwide are expected to rise 4.49 percent to 1.86 billion units, the Taipei-based Topology Research Institute said in a recent statement.

In the smartphone segment, shipments are likely to increase by an annual 26.47 percent to 860 million units, with a penetration rate of 46.2 percent, the institute predicted.

Increasing demand in the Chinese market is the main driver of the growth in smartphone shipments, said Kelly Hsieh, a manager at the institute.

“With its large population, rising income and better wireless Internet access, China has a growing need for cellphone functions,” Hsieh said.

She forecast that Asia will remain the biggest smartphone market next year, followed by North America.

Smartphone shipments to China are expected to total 188 million units for the whole of 2012 and increase 36.2 percent to 256 million units in 2013, she said.

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