News.com writes about the increasing sales of smartphones, with Symbian, Microsoft, Palm and Linux all battling for a piece of the action.
Market research firm Zelos Group said sales of full-feature handsets will surpass those of PCs in 2006, when those handsets will be available for as little as $157, only slightly above the average price of $138 for a mobile phone. In 2008, shipments of full-feature handsets will rise to about 290 million, according to Zelos, making up about 43 percent of global handset sales.
So-called full-feature handsets are based on operating systems such as Palm, Linux or Windows Mobile, McAteer said, meaning that consumers can more easily upgrade the phones’ software beyond what’s now capable with Qualcomm’s binary run-time environment for wireless or Sun Microsystems’ Java.
Such a trend could be “disruptive” to the wireless, personal electronics and computing segments, as consumers adopt full-feature handsets in place of mobile devices such as personal digital assistants, digital cameras, game consoles and music players, the research firm said. An early indication of this is Nokia becoming a leading distributor of digital cameras, Zelos said.