The market research firm said in 2009 a total of 1.2 billion mobile devices will ship, including cellular handsets, mobile Internet devices, netbooks, mobile consumer electronics products, and cellular modems. In 2014 the total number of devices shipped will reach 2.25 billion.
"The next five years will see a shift in the breakdown between types of mobile devices shipped," said ABI industry analyst Michael Morgan in a statement. "Today, wireless handsets rule the roost, with other mobile devices accounting for only 40 million shipments and cellular modems only 60 million. While handset shipments did actually decrease between 2008 and 2009 due to the global recession, (other) segments in fact grew very aggressively."
ABI found that handset sales grew by just 4%, but cellular modems will likely grow by 40% annually. Morgan noted that smartphones are now in direct competition with a variety of emerging wireless segments for consumer dollars.
"The convergence period for cellular communications is coming to an end, and now we're entering a period of divergence. For many devices the technology is already in place. It's just the business and billing models that need to be built."
Strategy Analytics, another market research firm, predicted in November that sagging sales of mobile handsets would begin improving in the current quarter. Revenue, however, could be impacted somewhat by price cuts.