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“No Comfort Zone” for Mobile Device Vendors in the Future

Mobile devices are the biggest-selling consumer electronics products in the world, with more than one billion shipping every year. However, the market is in a state of rapid flux. “Three or four years from now, no mobile device vendor – no matter what their market position today – will be in a ‘comfort zone’,” says ABI Research vice president and research director Stuart Carlaw, in a new webcast available on the firm’s website.

Developed and developing markets for these devices are being shaped by divergent forces. Developed markets in particular are typically highly saturated, highly competitive and highly segmented, with strong product innovation.

Carlaw adds, “The advent of wider mobile broadband access, the drive to maximize data revenue, the desire to push smartphone operating systems down into mid-tier handsets, and rapid innovations in user interfaces will all make the mobile devices of 2010 radically unlike those of today.”

As the technologies evolve and market trends emerge, we will see the user interface advances pioneered by Apple’s iPhone continue, with wider use of accelerometers and the addition of haptic feedback to touchscreens. Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) will become an important market segment, and vendors will increasingly look to diversify their product and service offerings.

“The mobile device market is expanding, not consolidating,” notes Carlaw, “and shows increasing micro-segmentation. Disruptive influences abound.”

In an illustrated audio webcast available on ABI Research’s website, Carlaw delves into the trends that will determine the mobile device market’s future shape and direction, including a feature set explosion, the effort to drive "smart" operating systems into the mid-tier, and specialization in handsets’ basic designs.

He examines the impact of mobile broadband and of advanced user interfaces. He concludes by highlighting the future importance of Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and the trend for vendors to diversify their business models. [ABI Research]

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