Global smartphone shipments are expected to approach 1.2 billion this year, up 19 percent over the 985 million smartphones shipped last year according to a new report from mobile research specialist Juniper Research.

Much like we've seen with tablets, the market is expected to be driven by growth primarily in emerging markets. It is in these regions that low-cost economy ($75-$150) and ultra-economy (sub-$75) smartphones will continue their surge in sales and adoption.

As such, the gap between the growing emerging markets and the stagnating mature markets is closing, the firm points out.

Developed markets have been showing signs of slower growth for some time now due to saturation. Once the majority of the population has a smartphone, growth slows as the majority of sales shift away from new buyers toward those looking to upgrade. Barring damage or a lost / stolen device, the average buyer typically holds onto a handset for a couple of years.

Elsewhere, Juniper Research notes that Apple and Samsung will account for nearly 45 percent of the global smartphones shipped this year.

Samsung has a wide range of smartphones with releases coming every few months it seems while Apple has focused on a single flagship handset each year dating back to 2007. It's two very different strategies but as evident by their combined reach, both approaches are very successful.

The firm also adds that the average selling price of a smartphone will decline globally to reach $274 by 2019, no doubt fueled by advances in technology and increased competition.