Smartphones – Beyond Voice to Data and Entertainment

Investments in shares of wireless technologies corporations and wireless service providers have been especially lucrative in the post-dot com era. The wireless sector is in a sweet spot of the technologies space. Bountiful enterprise opportunities exist as wireless usage continues to boost in both developed and emerging markets. And driving this usage greater are new solutions such as smartphones whose capabilities are being augmented by the deployment of third generation (3G) wireless networks.

Function-Wealthy Smartphones.

Green Flamingo are much more than mobile phones. A smartphone is a mobile phone with built-in functions of a individual digital assistant. Smartphones pack a diverse variety of functions and functionalities into the handset that tends to make them a mobile information center and entertainment device for the user.

Smartphones usually include things like features such as internet browsing, e-mail, and multimedia capabilities. Specific models have adequate horse energy to run complex computer software applications such as enterprise consumer connection computer software and car or truck navigation applications.

A full-featured QWERTY-variety keyboard, MP3 player, and Geo Positioning Systems capability are becoming common amongst larger-end smartphones. Instant messaging is a cool feature making its way into the mainstream.

Smartphones, A Growing Segment of the Handset Marketplace.

Smartphones represent a smaller, but quickly increasing, segment of the handset market place. According to Approach Analytics, smartphone sales at 17.5 million units in 2004 accounted for three% of the worldwide sales of 684 million handsets. Having said that, this represents a significant jump from the 8.2 million units sold in 2003.

The demand for smartphones is projected to develop quickly in the coming years. By 2009, the number of smartphone units sold is estimated to attain 125 million or 16% of total handset sales worldwide. This implies a 48% compound annual development price in smartphone unit shipments more than the 2004-2009 period.

Smartphone Early Adoption Led by Asia and Europe.

Adoption of smartphones has been specifically rapid in Asia and Europe. The aggressive deployment of sophisticated wireless networks in these regions has encouraged early adoption of smartphones.

The Asia Pacific region presently accounts for about 37% of global smartphone sales with South Korea and Japan being leaders in smartphone usage. The European market accounts for 27% of worldwide smartphone sales. Analysts anticipate smartphone sales in Europe to exceed sales in the Asian market place in the coming years. North America’s industry share in smartphone sales was expected to reach 25% by the end of 2004.

Nokia, the 800 lb. Gorilla of Smartphones.

Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is by far the dominant global smartphone manufacturer. The Finnish corporation is presently estimated to command half to two-thirds share of the worldwide smartphone industry.

Nokia not too long ago introduced its function-rich Nokia 7710 smartphone in Europe and Africa. The wide-screen Nokia 7710 smartphone includes a full World-wide-web browser, an integrated music player, a camera with 2x digital zoom, and a FM radio. One particular of the nifty features of the Nokia 7710 smartphone is its capacity to make weblogging mobile. Customers can post images and text from the Nokia 7710 smartphone straight to the net via the ‘moblog’ client.

Nokia is also expected to introduce the Nokia 3230 smartphone in the 1st quarter of 2005. The Nokia 3230 smartphone options a video recorder and ‘Movie Director’ that will enable 1 hour of video to be captured.

Nokia is now increasingly looking at software licensing bargains to support differentiate itself from its competitors. Nokia has not too long ago signed licensing offers with Macromedia and RealNetworks. Nokia is also said to be operating on handsets that will obtain wireless television feeds.

Smartphone Investment Implications.

The growing adoption of smartphones augurs effectively not only for Nokia but also for other smartphone companies like palmOne (Nasdaq: PLMO) and Investigation In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM). palmOne recently introduced the GSM edition of its Treo 650 smartphone. Research in Motion not too long ago released the newest model in its BlackBerry 7100 series, the 7100g.

The incorporation of added attributes and functionalities that make smartphones the transportable information and facts center and entertainment device of decision has bullish implications beyond just suppliers of smartphones.

Wireless service providers like Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) need to see their typical income per user becoming buffeted with rising use of value-added services that smartphones allow.