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Unless you live a cave far removed from society (yet somehow have Internet access to read this), chances are high that either you or someone you know owns a smartphone. They're everywhere these days, and if you're in the market for a high-end device, you have more choices than ever. According to IHS iSuppli, it's this phenomenon of choices, fueled by top brands introducing new flagship models in the first half of 2013, that will contribute to an expected doubling of shipments from 2012 to 2017.
Smartphone shipments totaled 712 million in 2012, less than half of the expected 1.5 billion units IHS iSuppli expects to see shipped in 2017. As for 2013, smartphone shipments are on pace to reach 897 million units, followed by 1.1 billion units in 2014 and 1.2 billion in 2015.
"The volume of new flagship smartphone releases from top original equipment manufacturers (OEM) this year has been astounding," said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for consumer and communications at IHS. "These include the new BlackBerry Z10, the aluminum uni-body HTC One, and an update to the Samsung Galaxy S4 featuring a Full HD 5-inch active matrix organic light emitting diode (AMOLED) display."
What of Apple's iPhone line? IHS iSuppli says the iPhone franchise appears to be stalling, noting that the 37.4 million units shipped in the first quarter fell below expectations. It's not clear when Apple will launch a new iPhone model, though many suspect it will debut later this year.