Worldwide mobile phone market grows 6%

July 31, 2013

Mobile application security may become an increasingly important issue, following news that the mobile phone market continues to expand rapidly.

The International Data Corporation's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker revealed six per cent annual growth in the second quarter of 2013.

According to the figures, vendors shipped more than 432 million mobiles during the three-month period, when compared with Q2 of last year.

The smartphone market in particular experienced a surge, with companies shipping 237.9 million units during the quarter, while 216.3 million were shipped over the preceding three months.

Year on year, smartphones saw 52.3 per cent growth, which is the highest figure in five quarters.

Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst at IDC, said the market is "still a rising tide that's lifting many ships".

"Though Samsung and Apple are the dominant players, the market is as fragmented as ever," he added.

"There is ample opportunity for smartphone vendors with differentiated offerings."

Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's mobile phone team, said the lower end of the price spectrum is particularly interesting, with companies beginning to gain traction in this segment.

However, this rapid growth does have disadvantages, with a 2013 Sophos Security Threat Report showing that mobiles are increasingly becoming the targets of malicious activity.

According to the organisation, modern malware and the trend towards bring your own device (BYOD) policies are the major areas of concern.

"BYOD can be a win-win for users and employers, but the security challenges are real, while boundaries between business and private use are blurring," the report explained.

This not only raises the question of who owns smartphones and similar devices, but who is responsible for managing and securing the data on them, it added.

Protecting against online security threats is becoming more of a user-centric problem rather than a device-centric one, Sophos stated.