MWC: Android And Smartphones Power Mobile Market

Michelle Maisto covers mobile devices, Android and Apple for eWEEK and is also a food writer.

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IDC believes that the mobile market is benefiting from a number of trends, including the growth of smartphones and new mobile operating systems

There are four trends that are shaping the mobile industry, IDC has stated in a new report. This includes the growth of smartphones and new mobile operating systems, such as Android, as well as the growth of mobile broadband networks.

IDC estimates that the mobile sector is currently an $850 billion (£544 billion) global market, making up 57 percent of the global telecom market. In a new report, “Worldwide Mobile Trends,” the firm predicts that this fastest-growing sector will see 1.3 billion new mobile subscribers by 2013 and outlines four trends that it additionally identifies as shaping the mobile industry.

The first, writes IDC, is price compression and the slowing revenues found in mobile voice. Together, the firm writes, these revenue losses highlight the importance of mobile data, mobile broadband and mobile applications for operators and device manufacturers.

Trend two is the growing use of smartphones – which now make up 15 percent of all devices shipped – in both developed and emerging markets. “Another key driver will be the emergence of connected devices, such as embedded laptops and a plethora of industrial/machine to machine (M2M) devices,” states the report.

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Following smartphone growth is a trend regarding the transformation of the mobile operating system landscape, as operating systems such as BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile face new competition from open-source options such as Android, as well as Apple’s Mac OS X and Palm’s webOS.

While Microsoft, last fall, went to work rebranding the Windows Mobile image, Palm, which used to offer phones with the Microsoft OS, announced in September that it will instead solely focus on webOS devices. WebOS is currently run by the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi, as well as the Plus versions of each.

Finally, the fourth trend, wrote IDC, will be the growth of mobile broadband.