During the third quarter, emerging markets (where consumers' budgets are smaller) exhibited some of the highest growth ever recorded with Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa growing almost 50 per cent year-over-year, according to Gartner.
This plays to the strength of the Chinese vendors, which is to undercut the leaders' prices and offer top specs for buyers who want premium phones, but can't afford Apple's or Samsung's high-end products, according to Gartner. The availability of next-generation components will allow manufacturers to build smartphones with LTE connectivity and HD screens that will sell for less than US$200 without a contract next year.
In the third quarter, smartphones accounted for 66 percent of the total mobile phone market; Gartner thinks that by 2018, nine out of ten phones will be smartphones.
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