Smartphones Becoming More Popular

November 22nd, 2007 - 1:01 am ICT by admin  

According to the latest industry research, mobile handset customers — in the U.S. and abroad — have been snapping up smartphones at dizzying rates. The NPD Group reports that the percentage of smartphones sold during the third quarter increased to 11 percent of all handset sales in the U.S., up from just 4 percent one year earlier. The growth is equivalent to a stunning 163 percent rise from prior-year figures.

“The mobile phone market is not only growing, it is growing smarter,” said NPD director Ross Rubin. “The nearly three-fold increase in smartphones shows that this once negligible niche is becoming a more influential force in the consumer market — attracting entrants such as Apple and the Open Handset Alliance.”

Growing at a Strong Pace

At the beginning of 2006, said Gartner principal analyst Roberta Cozza, Gartner attributed slowing smartphone sales to a lack of consumer awareness about the potential benefits of buying a smartphone instead of a feature phone. However, smartphone demand “has picked up strongly since the beginning of 2007″ and currently “represents huge growth,” she said.

One reason is that smartphone manufacturers have been reducing the complexity of their products, Cozza noted. “This has enabled markets like Western Europe and the Asia Pacific to focus more on driving smartphone sales as replacements,” Cozza explained. “We have also seen a bigger push from Nokia to offer products that are more affordable.”

Touch-enabled products from vendors such as Apple and HTC have been opening up new vistas for handset vendors beyond the Qwerty-style products popular with enterprise users. In North America alone, Cozza observed, third-quarter smartphone shipments had tripled year-over-year, thanks to the sale of 1.119 million iPhones.

From a global perspective, smartphone shipments during the third quarter rose by 55 percent to around 27.9 million devices, Cozza noted. In addition, vendors shipped another 5.4…

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