The number of smartphone users, currently about 25 million (mostly Apple iPhones), is expected to increase four-fold by 2013, according to market researcher, In-Stat. Apple’s iPhone applications store keeps growing, too. It now tops 25,000 applications.
With the Android smartphone and Palm’s Pre smartphone (set to debut this summer), In-Stat expects the number of users accessing mobile applications stores with their smartphones to reach nearly one-third, or 100 million, of all smartphone users.
In-Stat says 30% of subscriptions will be with third or fourth generation technology within the next five years. This is compared to 11% of subscriptions on 3G at the end of 2008.
Smartphone sales in North America grew 69 per cent in 2008, says Gartner. While sales will grow at a slower pace, the market will be driven by support from operators in the region aggressively pushing data plans. Smartphones will also see increased competition from full-featured enhanced phones that may offer a full qwerty keyboard. These devices offer much of the functionality of a smartphone, but at a lower price.
But ABI Research estimates that worldwide handset shipments will fall by at least 8% in 2009, and that flat growth in 2010 is the best the market will deliver.
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