Smartphones to surpass feature phones in U.S. by 2011

Wednesday, 31 March 2010, 02:41 Hrs   |    2 Comments
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Smartphones to surpass feature phones in U.S. by 2011
Bangalore: The share of smartphones as a proportion of overall device sales has increased to 29 percent for phone purchasers in the last six months and 45 percent of respondents to a survey by Nielsen indicated that their next device will be a smartphone. According to Nielsen, if these data points are combined with falling prices and increasing capabilities of these devices along with an explosion of applications for devices, by the end of 2011, Nielsen expects more smartphones in the U.S. market than feature phones. Today, the smartphones dominate the buzz in the mobile market, but only 21 percent of American wireless subscribers are using a smartphone as of the fourth quarter 2009 compared to 19 percent in Q3 2009 and 14 percent at the end of 2008. This just at the beginning of a new wireless era where smartphones will become the standard device consumers will use to connect to friends, the internet and the world at large. In the last six months, roughly 77 percent of new smartphone buyers remained loyal to their wireless operator, while 18 percent switched to a new provider to get their new smartphone with the remaining percentage made up of first-time smartphone buyers. Interestingly enough, the percentage of people who switched carriers and got a new smartphone is not higher than that of the average wireless subscriber. The percentage of people who use their phone for only voice communications drops from 14 percent among new feature phone owners to three percent of smartphone owners. The use of the built-in camera and video capability jumps by almost 20 percent for both categories, due to the generally better quality and user friendliness of the features. Smartphones also often have a better speaker which translates into more frequent usage from about half of feature phone owners to about two-thirds of smartphone owners. Not surprisingly the use of Wi-Fi increases 10-fold from five percent for feature phone owners to 50 percent for smartphone users to satisfy the need for fast downloads.

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