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Tablets are not the only device type that is seeing aggressive price erosion; smartphones are also becoming more affordable, driving adoption in emerging markets and the prepay segment in mature markets. Of the 1.875 billion mobile phones to be sold in 2013, 1 billion units will be smartphones, compared with 675 million units in 2012.
"The trend toward smartphones and tablets will have much wider implications than hardware displacement," said Milanesi. "Software and chipset architecture are also impacted by this shift as consumers embrace apps and personal cloud."
Read more about wireless & mobile in Network World's Wireless & Mobile section.