Smartphones expected to dominate US handset market

Posted by Trent Nouveau

The US mobile market is experiencing a seismic shift towards higher-end phones, with at least 50% of all handsets expected to be classified as smartphones by 2011.

According to Research and Markets (R&M), smartphones have become akin to "mini-PCs," with a wide range of services offered alongside basic calling and texting functions.

Smartphones expected to dominate US handset marketThe new features - which are fast becoming standard - are made possible by more powerful hardware, such as expanded memory (typically 8GB) and fast dual core processors that support video, music, Internet, 3D graphics and  thousands of popular apps.

"The huge success of Apple’s App Store was widely imitated by a number of other providers with RIM's BlackBerry and Google Android (with its Android Market application store) also providing their own variants," explained an R&M spokesperson.

"By mid-2009 the Apple App Store alone had 225,000 apps available with Google Market having a further 65,000 apps available for download."



The spokesperson also noted that high-end handset growth was "particularly strong" in mature markets, with over half of all handsets sold in Japan during 2009 classified as smartphones.

"However, smart phone penetration is not [as] strong in emerging markets where there is a greater proportion of Pre Pay subscribers. In markets such as India and Latin America for example, smart phone handset penetration rates remains less than 10%."