SINGAPORE: Total shipments of mobile handsets could reach 1.34 billion by the end of this year and will hit 1.7 billion in 2015, new research from ABI has indicated.

According to the firm's Mobile Device Shipments Market Data, which analyses the key marketing and technical issues facing the mobile handset device market, Asia-Pacific will perform particularly strongly.

The region "currently makes the largest contribution to global handset sales," ABI Research industry analyst Celia Bo said.

Asia-Pacific sales are forecast to increase by an impressive 9% from 2009 to 2010, accounting for some 38% of total shipments.

While China is "clearly a major source of handset demand, it is not the only one," Bo added.

Both India and Indonesia are expanding their domestic demand, with the Indian handset market expected to grow from 84.3 million handsets in 2009 to 104 million in 2010, representing year-on-year growth of 24%.

Meanwhile, 33 million Indonesians are expected to buy a handset in 2009, a total that rises to 37 million in 2010.

Indonesia has a population of 237 million people.

Asia is a key market for Nokia distributors and dealers and, in both India and Indonesia, the Finland-based handset manufacturer has enjoyed a market share well above that of its global average.

Yet while Nokia has shown its local knowledge with production of ultra-low cost handsets that are robust, user-friendly and attractively-priced, the firm has seen its market-share steadily eroded in the mid to high-end consumer cohorts.

Many consumers in Asia now have more aspirational purchasing patterns, and India's and Indonesia's growing middle classes increasingly prefer more sophisticated feature phones and smartphones.

Vendors such as Samsung, LG and RIM are the biggest net beneficiaries.

"A number of local handset vendors such as Micromax and Spice Mobile in India, and Nexian and SPC Mobile in Indonesia, are intent on catering to low-end and mid-tier end-users," ABI's vice-president and practice director Kevin Burden added.

"Their game-plan is to push the envelope on providing increasingly feature-rich handsets at aggressive price-points."

Data sourced from ABI Research; additional content by Warc staff