Smartphone shipments are forecast by ABI Research to grow 21% in 2010 to 224 million, much of the growth driven by interest generated by the iPhone and Android phones, but, ABI Vice President of Forecasting Jake Saunders said, "‘White Box’ or ‘Shanzai’ handset manufacturers are rapidly reshaping the low-cost handset segment as they redefine the ‘look and feel’ of the low-cost/ultra-low-cost segments.”
ABI said many of these low-cost units, like the “BlueBerry” handset, come close to trademark infringement. The handsets often have localized distribution and lack many functions so they can cater to end-users without as much cash to spend for a handset.
ABI said the limited-function handsets, along with other low-cost models, will have 219 million units sales in 2010. Total handset shipments should hit 1.3 billion in 2010, thanks to a rebound in shipments that started in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Industry analyst Celia Bo forecast shipments to top 1,7 billion in 2015. "Moving to 3G technologies and beyond, increasing demand for smartphones is a key factor that will drive market expansion over the next five years," she said.
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