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Smartphones to Fill Void from PDA Decline

Smartphone Operating System-based phones will grow at more than a 30 percent compound annual growth rate for the next five years globally, taking an increasing share of the overall mobile phone market that is otherwise growing in single digits, according to an In-Stat market study.

The unit volume of smartphones globally also exceeds the unit sales for laptop computers. Smartphones are also apparently filling the void in the market that remains from the continued PDA sales downturn.

Users are experiencing significant value from their smartphones, the high-tech market research firm says. As a result they are downloading more applications and generating higher usage as measured by average revenue per user (ARPU) for wireless carriers.

"Because of the value users are finding, organizations are slowly taking ownership of smartphones and data applications used for business purposes," says Bill Hughes, In-Stat analyst. "Rather than having overcomplicated reimbursement plans, more organizations are finding it more expedient and economical to treat wireless voice and data services as a business expense when they use smartphones."

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- All Smartphone Operating Systems (other than the Palm OS) will grow at double digits over the next five years.

- A smartphone user that travels has twice the ARPU of a typical feature phone user.

- Smartphone use will grow mostly from use as a laptop replacement, and as a tool to help manufacturers develop feature phones.

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