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Despite its phenomenal growth -- which will continue for many years to come -- the smartphone is set to eventually become a utility product, according to Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com).
This will first emerge in the developed markets, where smartphone penetration is now reaching levels of 60%-75%. This is mainly driven by Samsung and other Android-based smartphones, with Apple operating at the top end in the market, where people are prepared to pay a premium for the iPhone.
Touchscreen tablets have also become very popular; with the most widely known being the Apple iPad. The iPad has competitive threats however from the multitude of tablet devices now on the market and the rising threat of Android.
According to Research and Markets, smart phones still only account for around 18% of mobile device connections globally in 2013, leaving much room for growth over the next few years; Africa is considered to be the world's fastest growing smart phone market.