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Number of Smartphones Around the World Top 1 Billion -- Projected to Double by 2015

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Oct 19, 2012) - The rapidly growing demand for smartphones have provided many opportunities for growth for companies within the technology sector. According to a recent report from Strategy Analytics in the third quarter the number of smartphones being used around the globe topped 1 billion for the first time ever. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Technology Sector and provides equity research on Microsoft Corporation ( NASDAQ : MSFT ) and Nokia Corporation ( NYSE : NOK ).

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The number of smartphones in use in the third quarter of 2012 totaled 1.03 billion, a 47 percent increase from third quarter 2011. Nokia introduced the first smartphone in 1996 and it has taken the smartphone industry 16 years to top the 1 billion mark. By 2015, the research firm predicts that number to double to 2 billion. The smartphone market in 2011 was estimated to be worth $219 billion according to Bloomberg Industries.

"Smartphone penetration is still relatively low," Neil Mawston, London-based executive director at Strategy Analytics, said in the statement. "Most of the world does not yet own a smartphone and there remains huge scope for future growth, particularly in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa."

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Microsoft is scheduled to unveil their Windows 8 based smartphone "Apollo" on October 29. The company has also recently announced a new music service Xbox Music. Microsoft has stated that the new service, which will be available on all new handsets using Microsoft's Windows 8 software in November, will be "on par with iTunes."

Nokia's technological and design innovations have made its brand one of the most recognized in the world. The company's upcoming Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, which are expected to launch in early November, will use the Windows 8 operating system. Shares of the company have jumped over 13 percent in the last week.

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