Smartphones used to be the preserve of a tech-savvy niche and appointment-juggling business folks shuffling between vital meetings, but feature packed handsets have now hit the mainstream.
According the ‘Mobile Market View’ study published by The Kelsey Group, no less than 18.9% of mobile consumers in the United States are now strutting the streets sporting smartphones, with 49.2% set to grab themselves a piece of smartphone action within the next two years.
Plummeting handset prices, cheap data prices and the growth of web-based mobile services are all playing their part in tempting punters to ditch their basic old ‘dumb’ handsets.
In the States, the $99 Palm Centro smartphone helped lead the move to cheaper smarter phones with the all conquering iPhone luring more well heeled punters.
The gang at the Kelsey Group quizzed mobile consumers about how they’d been using their handsets. Here’s their findings:
* Downloaded or looked at maps or directions: 17.6 percent, up from 10.8 percent in 2007
* Searched the Internet for products or services in their local area: 15.6 percent, up from 9.8 percent in 2007
* Searched the Internet for products or services outside their local area: 14.3 percent, up from 6.4 percent in 2007
* Obtained information about movies or other entertainment: 13.7 percent, up from 8.2 percent in 2007
* Connected with a social network, such as MySpace or Facebook: 9.6 percent, up from 3.4 percent in 2007
Being tech-obsessed types, we’ve been using smartphones for years, but how about you? Are you using a smartphone? Or are you expecting to buy one soon?