Love affair with smartphones to deepen: Analyst

Australia’s love of iPhones, BlackBerrys and Androids is set to become more amorous with 62 per cent of all mobile phones tipped to be smartphones by 2015.

A recent report by analyst firm Frost Sullivan titled 2010 Asia-Pacific Mobile Device Smartphone Outlook, shows smartphones are becoming attractive across the region with many upgrading from 2G to 3G.

The report finds “incremental data usage from smartphones will generate over $US38 billion for operators in the Asia-Pacific region” in 2015. This will be up from just over $US1.3 billion last year.

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), which also tracks the number of mobile phone handsets sold in Australia, recently reported that to the end of July this year there were 4,422,451 3G devices sold with over 600,000 in July alone.

Another analyst firm, IDC recently noted that in 2005 just over 1.06 million smartphones – which are more commonly used to access the Internet - were shipped to Australia.

In the last three months of 2009 alone, IDC says, over 1.31 million smartphones were shipped, and in 2009 the total number of Australian smartphone shipments exceeded 4 million to be the highest annual total on record.

At the end of Q1 2010, Australian smartphone penetration rose to an all time high of 48.1 per cent of new mobile device shipments, and IDC is now expecting that by the end of this year, smartphones will outpace traditional mobile phones.

Frost Sullivan is estimating 477 million units of smartphones will be sold in Asia-Pacific in 2015.

While smartphone sales are booming in first world countries, burgeoning economies like India and China are expected to see continued proliferation of 2G, data-capable phones, inciting innovation from the likes of biNu for alternative internet access methods.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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