Investments in shares of wi-fi expertise corporations and wi-fi service suppliers have been significantly worthwhile within the post-dot com period. The wi-fi business is in a candy spot of the expertise house. Bountiful enterprise alternatives exist as wi-fi utilization continues to extend in each developed and rising markets. And driving this utilization larger are new merchandise equivalent to smartphones whose capabilities are being augmented by the deployment of third technology (3G) wi-fi networks.
Smartphones are greater than cell phones. A smartphone is a cell phone with built-in capabilities of a private digital assistant. Smartphones pack a various vary of options and functionalities into the handset that makes them a cellular info heart and leisure gadget for the person.
Smartphones generally embrace options equivalent to net shopping, e-mail, and multimedia capabilities. Certain fashions have sufficient horse energy to run complicated software program purposes equivalent to enterprise buyer relationship software program and automotive navigation packages.
A full-featured QWERTY-type keyboard, MP3 participant, and Geo Positioning Systems functionality have gotten frequent amongst higher-end smartphones. Instant messaging is a cool function making its manner into the mainstream.
Smartphones, A Growing Segment of the Handset Market.
Smartphones characterize a small, but quickly rising, section of the handset market. According to Strategy Analytics, smartphone gross sales at 17.5 million models in 2004 accounted for 3% of the worldwide gross sales of 684 million handsets. However, this represents a major soar from the 8.2 million models offered in 2003.
The demand for smartphones is projected to develop quickly within the coming years. By 2009, the variety of smartphone models offered is estimated to succeed in 125 million or 16% of complete handset gross sales worldwide. This implies a 48% compound annual progress fee in smartphone unit shipments over the 2004-2009 interval.
Smartphone Early Adoption Led by Asia and Europe.
Adoption of smartphones has been significantly fast in Asia and Europe. The aggressive deployment of superior wi-fi networks in these areas has inspired early adoption of smartphones.
The Asia Pacific area at present accounts for about 37% of world smartphone gross sales with South Korea and Japan being leaders in smartphone utilization. The European market accounts for 27% of world smartphone gross sales. Analysts anticipate smartphone gross sales in Europe to exceed gross sales within the Asian market within the coming years. North America’s market share in smartphone gross sales was anticipated to succeed in 25% by the tip of 2004.
Nokia, the 800 lb. Gorilla of Smartphones.
Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is by far the dominant international smartphone producer. The Finnish firm is at present estimated to command half to two-thirds share of the worldwide smartphone market.
Nokia not too long ago launched its feature-rich Nokia 7710 smartphone in Europe and Africa. The wide-screen Nokia 7710 smartphone features a full Internet browser, an built-in music participant, a digital camera with 2x digital zoom, and a FM radio. One of the nifty options of the Nokia 7710 smartphone is its potential to make weblogging cellular. Users can put up photos and textual content from the Nokia 7710 smartphone on to the net via the ‘moblog’ consumer.
Nokia can also be anticipated to introduce the Nokia 3230 smartphone within the first quarter of 2005. The Nokia 3230 smartphone encompasses a video recorder and ‘Movie Director’ that may enable 1 hour of video to be captured.
Nokia is now more and more software program licensing offers to assist differentiate itself from its rivals. Nokia has not too long ago signed licensing offers with Macromedia and RealNetworks. Nokia can also be mentioned to be engaged on handsets that may obtain wi-fi tv feeds.
Smartphone Investment Implications.
The growing adoption of smartphones augurs properly not just for Nokia but in addition for different smartphone producers like palmOne (Nasdaq: PLMO) and Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM). palmOne not too long ago launched the GSM version of its Treo 650 smartphone. Research in Motion not too long ago launched the most recent mannequin in its BlackBerry 7100 collection, the 7100g.
The incorporation of further options and functionalities that make smartphones the transportable info heart and leisure gadget of alternative has bullish implications past simply producers of smartphones.
Wireless service suppliers like Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) ought to see their common income per person being buffeted with growing use of value-added providers that smartphones allow.
Then too, the growing adoption and utilization of smartphones would require the rollout of 3G wi-fi networks in earnest, translating into enterprise alternatives for wi-fi community tools suppliers equivalent to Ericsson