We are becoming increasingly connected. Smartphones are taking over the mobile business, and it’s happening fast. What used to be about “a phone that can just make calls” is becoming more about having an all-in-one device that can always be by your side.
Let’s see how smartphones are taking over the industry:
1) Smartphone shipments nearly doubled in the last quarter of 2010
During the last quarter of 2010, smartphone shipments were up at 101.2 million, that is up from the same time in 2009, which was 53.7 million. The chart above shows, that’s an 88.6 percent growth. It looks like Android devices are the fastest-growing of the smartphones.
2 Sony has noticed mobile games are becoming popular
Late last week, Sony introduced the world to the NGP. It’s the PSP2. What was most interesting about this announcement wasn’t the system itself–it was the idea of Sony’s PlayStation Suite. The PlayStation Suite is basically a set of developer tools that will allow for any licensed Android device to playback PlayStation content. This opens up more avenues for distribution for Sony. It will be interesting to see how this affects the Android market as Sony will distribute directly through their PlayStation Store, which already has many users with their credit cards tied to their account.
Why is this significant? If one of the giants in the console and handheld business realizes that they have to get into the smartphone market as well.
3) Cellphones used more for data than for voice
Cellphones these days are being used less for calls and more for data (source). Whether it’s browsing the internet on your smartphone or checking your email, most smartphone users have probably noticed that they are part of that crowd as they increasingly use data for texting or email rather than making a phone call. SMS is often much easier for busy people as they don’t have to bother with a call and hope the person answers, or leave a message, etc. They simply type out a message, “Pick up dry cleaning on your way home,” and a quick, “K” is enough of a response, end of conversation. The ability to quickly respond like that has made it much more convenient to use SMS. That’s of course only one example of us using data.
4) Remember the Kin
Does anyone remember the Kin? Yeah, most probably forgot it already, it was only available for three hours (exaggeration, of course). Microsoft’s Kin was actually available for just under two months before being killed off after selling a reported 500 units. That’s not a typo; that’s 500. Microsoft wouldn’t confirm or deny the reports, which makes us think it’s more likely true than not. The Kin was not a smartphone, it was developed as a “fun, social phone” or something along those lines. We really don’t remember, it was killed off too fast for us to notice. Of course, you can argue that Microsoft went on to work on Windows Phone 7, but that still means they abandoned the traditional cellphone to push their smartphone.
5) Enterprise in a world that’s Increasingly connected
Smartphones like RIM’s BlackBerry were made very popular by businesses. Devices like the iPhone have become increasingly useful for enterprise. iOS4 added enterprise features, and corporate buyers get to buy their iPhone’s before the rest of us. That’s still the case with many such devices. Businesses are top customers for smartphones because they need to keep employees constantly connected. Not only by voice, but by email. If you are out, an office-wide email will no doubt reach you long before you are anywhere near a computer. This is more important in today’s fast-paced business world. Still, we are not opposed to completely shutting down our iPhone over the weekend.
Smartphones Continue to Rise
Just three years ago, smartphones weren’t exactly a standard. They were increasing in popularity, but with devices like the iPhone and Android handsets, they are becoming more common for non-business users as well. These days, many of these phones are affordable, even for teens. Before we know it, our older handsets will no longer exist, and phones that do email, browsing and Apps will be the standard. Are you ready?