Tuesday, February 28, 2006

ABI Research: Smartphone Forecast: Shipments to More Than Double in 2006

According to a new report from ABI Research, "2006 will bring a growth spurt in the smartphone market that will see worldwide shipments more than double. The 123 million units that ABI Research forecasts will be shipped this year will give smartphones nearly a 15% share of the mobile phone market."

Philip Solis at ABI Research said, "Increasing demand for robust data communications applications — especially mobile email and instant messaging — will play a role, particularly as 3G speeds improve the appeal of mobile data services. With increasing sales volumes, prices are falling fast, while the choice of models on offer is growing rapidly (39% more models were available in 2005 than in 2004). Even as their functionality expands, smartphones are shrinking in size, offering lower power consumption and longer battery life. Finally, Wi-Fi is reaching into the smartphone, and we expect to see fully a quarter of all models offering embedded Wi-Fi by 2010."

On the OS front, Solis noted that while the Palm OS was "moribund, Linux is finding increasing favor, with industry heavyweights such as Motorola, Samsung, NEC and Panasonic among its backers." He added that "The Windows Mobile OS is gaining ground too, while Symbian, whose OS is currently the hands-down market share winner, is attempting to stave off competitors by halving its license fees for volume deals."