The U.S. smart-phone market is growing at a rapid pace despite the ongoing global economic slowdown. A recent analysis by CTIA Wireless has revealed that the country’s wireless service providers have generated a massive $19.4 billion of data revenues from smart-phone users during the first half of 2009. This is an improvement of 31% year over year. This is primarily due to a shift in consumer preference towards feature-enhanced high-end PDA devices from ordinary mobile handsets used primarily for voice telephony. The PDA market size is likely to approach $200 billion by 2012, according to various industry sources.
This grand opportunity provides massive scope for telecom service providers, equipment manufacturers, chipset developers, and wireless tower operators to retain new users and grow revenues moving forward. According to the CTIA Wireless report, at present, the U.S. has more than 246 million data capable devices with 40 million smart-phones or PDAs apart from 10 million 3G cards. This indicates that the mobile broadband service has become an integral part of the U.S. lifestyle.
The smart-phone market has become a long-run growth potential for the overall telecom industry. As a result, this market is getting increasingly crowded with new players and is expected to witness intense competition going forward. In addition to the established smart-phone makers like Research In Motion (RIMM), Apple Inc. (AAPL), Palm Inc. (PALM), and Nokia Corp. (NOK), other large mobile handset makers such as Sony-Ericsson, a joint-venture between Sony Corp. (SNE) and L.M. Ericsson (ERIC), and Samsung have launched a series of innovative products. Motorola Inc. (MOT), Google Inc. (GOOG), HTC, and LG Electronics are other new entrants in this market.
The 3G technology of converged mobile computing enables a smart-phone to function like a fully operational computing device with the help of a strong web browser. 3G handset users are increasingly using their mobile handset to browse the Internet. Furthermore, the growing acceptance of LTE technology has prompted the mobile handset makers to develop phones that will be compatible with this network. Industry sources predicted that the first LTE handsets may arrive on the market in the second half of 2010, but these next-generation smart-phones may to go mass market by early 2012. This will further intensify the growth of the U.S. telecom industry.
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