In the post-dot.com era, investments in shares of wireless service providers and technology companies have proven to be particularly lucrative. The wireless industry is at the forefront of technology. There are many business opportunities as wireless usage increases in emerging and developed markets. New products like smartphones are driving this increase in usage. These devices are being enhanced by third-generation (3G) wireless networks.
Smartphones with a lot of features
Smartphones can be more than just mobile phones. Smartphones are mobile phones that have the built-in functions and capabilities of a personal digital assistant. Smartphones offer a wide range of functions and features that make them both a mobile entertainment and information device.
Smartphones often include web browsing, e mail, and multimedia capabilities. Some models are powerful enough to run sophisticated software applications, such as enterprise customer relations software or car navigation programs.
Higher-end smartphones are increasingly equipped with a full-featured QWERTY keyboard, MP3 player and Geo Positioning Systems capability. The trend towards instant messaging is exciting.
Smartphones: A Growing Segment in the Handset Market
Smartphones are a growing segment of the handset market. Strategy Analytics estimates that smartphone sales of 17.5 million units in 2004 represented 3% of worldwide handset sales of 684 millions. This is a substantial increase from the 8.2million units sold in 2003.
In the next few years, smartphones will be in high demand. The number of smartphones sold worldwide will reach 125million by 2009, or 16% of all handset sales. This indicates a 48% compound annual increase rate in smartphone unit this website for more info sales over the period 2004-2009.
Asia and Europe lead the smartphone adoption rush.
Smartphone adoption has been especially rapid in Asia and Europe. Smartphone adoption has been encouraged by the rapid deployment of wireless networks in these areas.
The Asia Pacific region accounts for 37% of global smartphone sales, with South Korea and Japan leading smartphone use. Global smartphone sales are 27% dominated by the European market. Analysts predict that smartphone sales in Europe will surpass those in Asia in the next few years. The market share of North America in smartphone sales is expected to increase to 25% by 2004.
Nokia, the 800 lb. The Gorilla of Smartphones.
Nokia (NYSE: NOK), the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, is far and away the most dominant. According to current estimates, the Finnish company currently controls half to two-thirds of the global smartphone market.
Nokia’s feature-rich Nokia 7710 smartphone was recently launched in Europe and Africa. Nokia 7710 smartphones have wide screens and include a full Internet browser, integrated music player, and a 2x digital zoom camera. The Nokia 7710 smartphone has the unique ability to make weblogging mobile. The’moblog client allows users to post photos and text directly from their Nokia 7710 smartphones to the internet.
Nokia will also be introducing the Nokia 3230 smartphone during the first quarter 2005. Nokia 3230 smartphones feature a video recorder with ‘Movie Direct’, which will allow for 1 hour of video recording.
Nokia is increasingly considering software licensing deals in order to differentiate itself from its competition. Nokia recently signed licensing agreements with Macromedia, RealNetworks. Nokia is also working on handsets that can receive wireless television feeds, according to reports.
The Implications of Smartphone Investment.
Smartphone adoption is good news for Nokia as well as other smartphone manufacturers such Research In Motion (Nasdaq : RIMM) and palmOne (Nasdaq : PLMO). palmOne has just introduced the GSM version of its Treo650 smartphone. Research in Motion released the 7100g, the latest model in the BlackBerry 7100 series.
Smartphone manufacturers have positive implications beyond the mere incorporation of new features and functionalities, which make smartphones portable information centers and entertainment devices of choice.
Vodafone (NYSE: VOD), a wireless service provider, should see an increase in the average revenue per user due to increased use of value-added services enabled by smartphones.
Additionally, increasing smartphone adoption and use will demand the deployment of 3G wireless networks. This will create business opportunities for wireless equipment providers like Ericsson (Nasdaq : ERICY).