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Forecast: Smartphones to triple to 5.6 billion by 2019


STOCKHOLM (AP) — The number of smartphones is forecast to triple to 5.6 billion globally by 2019, accounting for more than 60 percent of cellphones.

Sweden’s Ericsson AB, the world’s largest maker of telecommunications networks, says in a report Monday it expects smartphone traffic to grow tenfold in the next six years, with service providers increasing high-speed networks to deal with the surge. Total mobile subscriptions are predicted to reach 9.3 billion by 2019.

“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 mark1. Between now and 2019, smartphone subscriptions will triple,” said Douglas Gilstrap, senior vice president and head of strategy at Ericsson in a statement. “Interestingly, this trend will be driven by uptake in China and other emerging markets as lower-priced smartphone models become available.”

Ericsson says annual smartphone traffic would hit 10 billion gigabytes by 2019, with videos representing some 50 percent of all data traffic. Social networking and web services would account for 10 percent each.

It said smartphones currently make up 55 percent of all cellphones sold but represent only 25-30 percent of all mobile subscriptions.

Meanwhile, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh will preside this week over a retrial of the Apple Inc.-Samsung Electronic Co. case in San Jose, Calif.

The trial is to decide how much Samsung must pay Apple for 13 products deemed to have violated Apple’s patent rights.

After last year’s trial, Koh cut about $450 million from the jury’s $1 billion award. She determined the panel improperly calculated damages on 13 of the more than two dozen Samsung devices found to have violated patent and trademark protections.


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