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2009 was the year of the smartphone. What can we expect moving forward?

In 2009, we witnessed a significant increase in the number of smartphones being offered with associated application stores and applications to help generate mobile data traffic and revenue. The battle for market share from manufacturers and operating systems has heated up with many new iconic devices being launched in the last 3 months.

You may ask, “who will the real winners be?” The success of smartphones showed that device and OS diversity offers choices that consumers value. Unlike the relatively mature PC industry, there may be multiple winners in this fast growing mobile space. While it may be tough to make that call with respect to manufacturers, it is clear that consumers stand to benefit significantly. Consumer awareness is at its highest, and as a result, my parents are even asking me which smartphone they should be buying. Increased competition will not only give consumers a broader choice of smartphones, but it will also help drive down the cost and make them more affordable.

The high end of the smartphone market continues to flourish with many new devices being offered that support a 1 GHz processor. Over time, we can expect these capabilities to come into a broader base of smartphone devices. And HTC recently announced the HTC Smart, a smartphone being targeted for the masses. In many emerging countries, the first and only access people have to get on the internet will be through their cell phones. And the smartphone will help drive this trend.

Combine the range of new devices coming to the market with operators continuing to look at innovative pricing plans to further drive growth, and we have a market that is ready to keep flourishing. Analysts are forecasting that in 2011 smartphone shipments will exceed all computer shipments.

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