Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wi-Fi and VoIP Migrating to Mobile Phones


In the next five years, the nature of mobile phones will change radically, according to the latest market study from In-Stat. Increasing availability of mobile broadband, operator support for data-intensive devices, and improvements in usability for mobile devices brought about by the influence of the Apple iPhone will evolve the designs of handheld devices.

"Consumers are nearing their limits adjusting to the added complexity of converged mobile phone devices," says David Chamberlain, In-Stat analyst.

Feature proliferation is impinging on usability. Handset vendors and mobile operators must carefully evaluate the drive toward increasingly converged devices with features and functions that add direct value to consumers.

The In-Stat research covers the worldwide market for cellular devices. It includes in-depth consumer research based on the results of ongoing consumer surveys, conducted primarily in North America reflecting changes in attitudes toward a number of handset features and functions.

In addition, there are recommendations for dealing with the increasing complexity in cell phones that is increasing costs without substantially increasing value to end-users.

In-Stat's study found the following:

- Wi-Fi will become increasingly available in mobile phone handsets; In-Stat forecasts more than 300 million Wi-Fi-enabled cellphones will be sold in 2012.

- Annual smartphone sales will double over the next five years.

- By 2012, annual sales of handsets able to receive video content will exceed a half-billion.

- According to a survey of over 1,500 individuals from In-Stat's technology adoption panel, almost 60 percent of respondents indicate some level of interest or already use Wi-Fi for VoIP using a cellphone.