Global smartphone growth is expected fall sharply this year and slow down as low as 6.2% in 2018, according to a report from the International Data Corporation (IDC).
According to the report, annual smartphone shipments in 2013 crossed the one billion units mark, representing a 39.2% increase compared to 2012.
However, the report forecasts that the growth rate for 2014 is expected to be 19.3% and then decline to 6.2% in 2018.
IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker programme director Ryan Reith said North America will see more than 200 million smartphones in active use.
"2014 will be an enormous transition year for the smartphone market," Reith added.
"Not only will growth decline more than ever before, but the driving forces behind smartphone adoption are changing.
"New markets for growth bring different rules to play by and 'premium' will not be a major factor in the regions driving overall market growth."
The average selling price (ASP) is also expected to decrease to $260 by 2018 from $335 in 2013, partly due to more devices being adopted across mature markets and a slowdown in worldwide growth.
IDC Mobile Phone team research manager Ramon Llamas said in carriers and OEMs will need to work together to bring prices down.
"Last year we saw a total of 322.5 million smartphone units ship for under $150 and that number will continue to grow going forward," Llamas added.
"Just as the dynamics have changed for overall smartphone growth, so have the dynamics for smartphone pricing in the markets where continued growth is expected.
"Not all vendors will want to get into this space, but those that do must make deliberate choices about their strategies in order to succeed."
The report revealed Android is expected to continue as a leading operating system with strong presence in the emerging markets, followed by iOS with the highest ASPs.
Adoption for the Windows phone, which currently has the fastest growing operating system, is expected to increase thanks to support from Nokia and nine new Windows partnerships.
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