A total of 1.75 billion mobile phones were sold in 2012, according to Gartner. Smartphone sales rose to a record 207.7 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2012, 38 percent more than in the same period in 2011.
In the midst of this surging growth, the biggest mobile trade show in the calendar kicks off on February 25 in Barcelona, Spain.
There will be plenty to watch for: new technology, software and content, as well as several new smartphone launches.
So what are some of the hottest mobile trends in the fast growing mobile market right now? Read on.
Google has been touting Internet-connected glasses, which are expected to be released to the market later this year.
The company recently released a video on YouTube showcasing the device, and Google founder Sergey Brin was spotted on New York's subway testing the device.
Other eagerly-anticipated wearable gadgets include the rumored Apple "iWatch." Industry watchers think Apple can catalyze wearable accessories with the "iWatch" like it previously catalyzed smartphones and tablets with iPhone and iPad, Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, told CNBC.com.
5-Inch Hi-Definition Screens
Is it a phone or is it a tablet? Actually, it's a "phablet," and David Garrity at GVA Research told CNBC that 2013 will see the rise of the phablet and expects a plethora of companies to launch products in the sector.
"Consumers, however, will be faced with the challenge of how one actually carries a phablet around as the form factor does not lend itself to fitting a trouser or jacket pocket," he said.
"Expect fashion designers to be thrown into a frenzy of activity managing the intersection of humans and hardware."
An ultra-fast chip with four independent units may already be inside many current phones but it's slated to be de rigueur for 2013.
The fourth generation of mobile phone communications standards can bring ultra-broadband Internet access while on the move.
Coverage might be sketchy at the moment, but it's coming broadly -- and soon.
Texting in the bath? Why not?
Sony says the new Xperia Z can be kept under 1 meter of fresh water for up to 30 minutes, and the feature could be coming to more phones on the market.
(See The Entire CNBC Slideshow "Hottest Mobile Trends")
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