Wednesday, January 04, 2006

ABI Research: Data Services Grow While Smartphone Prices Fall

ABI Research has issued a new report that finds "mobile telephone users in the developed world are adopting wireless data services in large and growing numbers, leading to a rise in sales of smartphones that support these advanced functions."

ABI Research analyst Shailendra Pandey said, "Some of these data services are popular everywhere: think of music and ringtone downloads, or games. Others are commercially available only in certain world regions: mobile TV, for instance, is popular in Western Europe and parts of Asia, but is virtually unseen elsewhere."

ABI notes that network operators "are adopting varied strategies to push next-generation services depending partly on the orientation of their customer bases." ABI cites different examples from NTT DoCoMo, Vodafone an Hutchison.

Pandey added, "It's too early to gauge the success of the new data services, but if smartphone sales are any guide, the signs are good: in the 3Q 2005 they were up 134% compared to the same quarter last year."

The operators are going to have try real hard to find value-added services that users will want beyond the high-speed (wireless) pipes. I just want access to email and better Internet browsing on my handset which is why I'm eyeing smartphones with both 3G service and Wi-Fi. Right now nothing else appeals to me....