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When will smartphones replace PDAs, laptops?

Jul 31, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Smartphones may replace PDAs and even laptops for some consumers, but not until significant improvements are made, an In-Stat survey report suggests. Needed improvements include familiar application look-and-feel, better screens and keyboards, and more automated synchronization.

Interestingly, more users of smartphones called the devices “essential to their business” than users of laptops or PDAs. Furthermore, many of the consumers surveyed reported functional redundancies in their current devices, and expressed interest in carrying fewer devices.

Yet, obstacles remain.

Analyst Bill Hughes explains, “Before converged phones start taking market share from other devices, users want better keyboards, automatic synching with other devices, applications that have the same look and feel as on other devices, and expandable screens.”

Smartphones, such as those based on Linux, currently represent about a tenth of the wireless phone market, In-Stat says. The research firm expects smartphones to account for a quarter of mobile phone sales within five years, however.

In-Stat's estimates of the growth of smartphone market share are generally in agreement with data from other market analysts, such as ABI, which predicted earlier this year that the devices would attain around 15 percent of the worldwide mobile phone market in 2006.

The findings are from an In-Stat report entitled, “Converged Devices: SmartPhones vs. Laptops and PDAs in Business Markets.” The report complements an earlier In-Stat report entitled The Big Trends for Cell Phones, 2006-2011. Both reports are part of In-Stat's Mobile Business Service.

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