According to a recent In-Stat study, smartphone unit sales increased by 50% in the first half of 2006 over 2005. From 2004 to 2005, unit sales almost tripled. However, In-Stat offers two reasons for caution. First, many smartphone users carry more than one device. Second, users have been slow to download new applications to their smartphones.
In-Stat also found the following in their research:
- Business users that received their smartphone through work are three times more likely to carry a second wireless phone for personal calls than other users.
- Many smartphones sold in 2006 serve as a combination phone and PDA. Others have power and performance comparable in capability to many laptops. Most of the smartphones sold globally, however, only enable the user to access the capabilities of basic wireless phones.
- US smartphone customers are about evenly split between Windows Mobile, BlackBerry OS, and Palm OS.
The research, Smartphone 2006: Whose Definition Is It Anyway?, covers the global market for smartphones. It contains a review of the major manufacturers of smartphone operating systems. It also covers the results of a survey In-Stat commissioned to understand the perceptions and attitudes of smartphone users and non-users. Worldwide shipment forecasts by OS through 2010 are included. The price is $3,495 (US) and all the proceeds go to charity. Just kidding.