Cheap smartphones to soar in 2012
This year will see a huge rise in the number of cheap smartphones and apps, according to business advisory group Deloitte.
The number of phones with near-field communications technology (NFC) - the transfer of small amounts of data over a very short distance - will also reach a much wider audience, according to the organisation.
Announcing its predictions for the telecoms sector in 2012, the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) practice at Deloitte has forecast that over half a billion low-cost smartphones costing £65 or less will be in use by the end of 2012.
The firm has also said that the number of apps available will surpass two million by the end of 2012, double the total as of December 2011, and that the volume of data sent between devices via short-range wireless connections will also double in 2012.
David Crawford, TMT Partner at Deloitte in Belfast, said the number of devices with near-field communications technology is set to soar to 200 million in 2012.
"NFC has been dominated by the 'wave and pay' notion of embedding a credit card into a mobile phone but the application of the technology is likely to have a wider reach," he said.
Deloitte said there are thousands of applications for the technology, from gambling to games and healthcare.