NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 03/05/13 -- Shares of smartphone makers have slumped recently after a report from research firm IDC showed a slowing annual growth rate in smartphone shipments in 2013. "Now that smartphone users constitute the majority of all mobile phone users in the United States, IDC expects slower growth in the years ahead," the firm said in its report. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in the Technology Sector and provides equity research on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK).
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IDC has forecasted global smartphone shipments to total 918.6 million units in 2013. The total is an increase of 29 percent when compared to a year ago, but has slowed from last year's annual growth rate of 44 percent. Emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil are expected to be key areas for expansion in the smartphone market. China is expected to account for 33 percent of all smartphone shipments in 2013.
"While we don't expect China's smartphone growth to maintain the pace of a runaway train as it has over the last two years, there continue to be big drivers to keep the market growing as it leads the way to ever-lower smartphone prices and the country's transition to 4G networks is only just beginning," said IDC's Melissa Chau.
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Cowen & Co. has recently lowered their forecasts for Apple as they believe the next generation iPhone will be delayed till the fiscal fourth quarter. "We are trimming our Apple estimates given that a '5S' launch now appears to have slipped into [fiscal Q413]," Matthew Hoffman of Cowen & Co. wrote. Shares of the company have fallen approximately 20 percent year-to-date, and hit a new 52-week low of $421.15 a share earlier this week.
Shares of Nokia have fallen roughly 8.5 percent in the past month. Stoxx Ltd. has recently stated that the Finland-based company will be removed from the Euro Stoxx 50 index. Shares were also dragged down Monday by a report from Bernstein Research forecasting weaker sales for Nokia's Lumia 920, which uses the Windows Phone 8 operating system.
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