The number of mobile phones bought around the world will reach two billion by the end of this year.

New research from found that half of the devices will be smartphones and that by 2018 there will be more mobile phones than people living on Earth.

The experts predict that more than seven billion mobile phones will be sold by the end of 2018, with more than two-thirds expected to be smartphones.

However, much of the growth in smartphone purchasing is expected to come from the developing world, as argues that by 2016 the European and North American markets will have reached saturation point.

The firm also predicts that the major players in the industry will face stiff competition.

Kamaldeep Singh, editor-in-chief of comments: "In the coming years, Apple will continue to struggle in keeping up with the Android and fast-growing Windows Phone OS, which is slated to mingle with Windows RT in couple of years."

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