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Smartphones to Dominate Wireless Handset Market by 2008
Posted: 27-Mar-2003 [Source: ABI]

[Data services and "infotainment" driving consumers to upgrade to newer technology handsets as 85% of new handsets shipped expected to be replacements by 2008.]

Oyster Bay, NY -- Wireless users are migrating toward feature-rich devices that incorporate color screens, advanced data, and messaging applications, including navigation, gaming, multimedia messaging, and instant messaging, among others. The market is moving from one of initial penetration to one of innovation, or replacement with next-generation devices. In addition, wireless operators are under increased pressure to drive higher average revenue per user (ARPU), and are doing so by adding data services and "infotainment" content available only on newer technology handsets, thereby giving the consumer a reason to upgrade.

"With handset makers and wireless operators developing new devices and compelling services, the replacement cycle will shorten, thereby accelerating growth in the handset market," states ABI analyst Kenil Vora. "The key to maintaining this growth is the successful deployment-and timing-of feature-rich devices and related services."

According to the new study by Allied Business Intelligence Inc. (ABI), "Wireless Handsets, Smartphones and Communicators-The Convergence of the Cell Phone & PDA and the Emerging 3G Network," the number of replacement handsets shipped will grow from 211 million in 2002 to 591 million units in 2008, representing nearly 85% of all shipments worldwide at that time.

As such, to keep up with consumer demand for newer handsets with more advanced, integrated services, the suppliers of integrated circuits (ICs) to handset manufacturers must offer increasing levels of functionality-while still maintaining the products' sleek looks and longest possible battery life. The race is on for IC suppliers to offer manufacturers-as well as the end user-the complete package.

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