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Mobile device popularity is only expected to rise, says research firm

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Last year may have been a bad one for smartphones, but they don’t deserve your pity. Fret not, friends. Your precious mobile devices are not going anywhere. As per the latest conclusions from the International Data Corporation (IDC), our smartphone addiction shows absolutely no signs of waning. Despite the devices’ lowest-ever year-over-year growth in 2016, the research corporation believes that the market will “rebound slightly” this year, and that some 1.52 billion units will be shipped around the world.

Part of this uptick can be attributed to “improved economic conditions in many emerging markets,” the IDC says. And seeing as these markets will only continue to become more lucrative, experts suggest that growth between 2017 and 2018 will be even more robust at 4.5 percent (as compared to the anticipated 3-percent growth this year).

Also enticing is the much anticipated iPhone 8, which is already being credited with spurring a potential uptick in smartphone shipments next year. After all, Apple is already slated to sell 223.6 million iOS devices in 2017, a 3.8 percent increase over 2016’s numbers. And while Android still reigns supreme with a 85.1 percent market share, Apple certainly has its devoted followers.

The IDC also noted that while technology has previously been involved in a race to the bottom with regard to size, the trend is now reversing itself. Bigger, it seems, is now better for customers. While smartphone buyers previously preferred smaller 4 or 5-inch models just a few years ago, the larger models that once seemed almost comical are now reigning supreme. In fact, the research company says that both the 5 to 5.5-inch and 5.5 to 6-inch models are performing better among customers. And moving forward, they will only trend larger, as 5.5 to 6-inch phones are expected to bypass the 5 to 5.5-inch category by 2021.

So buckle up, friends, as it looks like the smartphone is here to stay.

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