By 2013, it will be a smartphone-majority world

Smartphones have officially crossed over the halfway point as they take over the mobile phone market in the U.S. But the world is not far behind and is expected to fly past the 50 percent mark by 2013, according to a new report by IHS iSuppli.

By the end of 2013, 54 percent of all phones globally will be smarpthones, IHS iSuppli predicted. That’s two years ahead of previous predictions by IHS iSuppli. Last year, smartphones comprised 35 percent of the global market.

The research firm said falling prices and the emergence of low-end smartphones in Asia-Pacific along with strong high-end sales in the U.S. and Europe have fueled the growth of smartphones around the world. And the momentum is not expected to slow down anytime soon.

By 2016, smartphones are expected to grab 67.4 percent of all cell phone sales. Regular feature phones will represent 28 percent of the market by 2016 while ultra-low-cost phones will hold down 4.2 percent of all sales.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve known that smartphones are a force to be reckoned with and were expected to eventually dominate worldwide. But the fact that we’re now becoming a majority smartphone planet by next year is still striking. That has implications for manufacturers who can sell higher-end devices but also for operators, who will need to keep investing in their networks to stay ahead of data demand. And it also means mobile developers should be thinking about the bigger opportunities in going global.