The iPhone 5 is expected to boost overall smartphone shipments this year to 567 million, according to a new forecast from NPD DisplaySearch. The research firm projects that total to nearly double in four years to one billion.
Even with the eager anticipation around the new Apple device, the volume of new smartphone shipments is lower than expected. NPD DisplaySearch downgraded its forecast for new purchases from 220 to 230 million to 177 million in 2012. The number of replacement phones, however, is projected to increase as new smartphones enter the market.
“Apple’s iPhone 5 will be a key product for the smartphone market in the second half of 2012. Apple shipped more than 140 million phones in 2010 and 2011, so we can expect smartphone shipments to continue flourishing as users upgrade to the new iPhone,” said Hiroshi Hayase, VP, small/medium displays for NPD DisplaySearch.
To keep up with the latest Android models, the new iPhone is expected to have a slightly larger display—4-inches, up from 3.5 inches. It will have the same retina display with 326 ppi, resulting in a wider screen format of 1136 x 640 pixels, the firm said.