FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Smart Phones Poised as the Next Explosive Tech Product

By some accounts, the market for ordinary cell phones is starting to plateau, as pretty much everyone who wants one now has one. The market momentum, however, may soon shift to smart phones like the Nokia 650, the Treo 650 and BlackBerry devices.

Until now, these high-end phones have been largely limited to business users and geeks who just had to have "the latest thing." But now, the Yankee Group forecasts the global smart phone market to nearly double from 24 million devices in service at the end of last year to 49 million devices by this year's end, and double yet again to 98 million devices sometime in 2006.

Falling prices, of course, will fuel this growth. As phones become cheaper, carriers will subsidize phones and offer consumer-friendly calling plans. So the average consumer will be able to get a smart phone for free or a nominal cost, which will allow him or her to surf the Web, send and receive text messages, take and store pictures, manage e-mail and calendars, and -- what might prove to be the killer app for smart phones -- download music. Oh yes... it will also make phone calls.

Sources: BusinessWeek, KurzweilAI.net