Did the iPhone Revolutionize the Smartphone Industry?

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The introduction of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone back in 2007 sparked a smartphone demand that has now led to total global sales crossing 1 billion, according to Strategy Analytics. While Nokia (NYSE:NOK) introduced the world’s first modern smartphone — the Nokia Communicator — in 1996, the research firm said the industry’s expansion really accelerated on the popularity of the iPhone.

“The iPhone revolutionized smartphone design and it catalyzed industry growth,” Strategy Analytics analyst Scott Bicheno said in a statement. “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.”

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The total sales number of 1.038 billion in the quarter September represented a 47 percent increase from a year earlier and translated into a smartphone for one in every seven people in the world. However, the research company added that it expected sales to double by 2015 on the back of growth in emerging markets. “Smartphone penetration is still relatively low,” the firm’s Neil Mawston 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.”

According to Bloomberg figures, the total smartphone market was worth $219 billion last year, helping Apple and its Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android rival Samsung notch up record earnings.

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