Monday, May 04, 2009

Who Uses Smart Phones?

I am going to answer this question based on the following definition of Smartphone:

"A smartphone boasts of powerful processors, large crisp displays, a complete operating system whose interface supports powerful applications"

My definition implies I am hinting at all Windows Mobile, iPhone, RIM and Symbian OS (S60) users.

Smartphone usually implies 3rd party applications that turn the phone into an internet, email, navigation (GPS), location-based services, etc. device. Business users have been using Blackberries since about 2004 quite regularly, but certainly the iPhone has opened up an entirely new demographic because of it is easy for developers to create 3rd party apps. Windows Mobile has also helped to perpetuate mainstream adoption because users are already familiar with the platform.

The demographic of users has expanded in age range as well as the type and of course the gender of the user. We have gone past the early adopter phase with Smartphones and into to the mainstream. The user is only limited to those who can afford the monthly cost for a data package.

To keep up with a growing consumer demand for multi-function handsets, manufacturers like LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Erricson and Nokia have all created outstanding "communicators", which are opening the door to a need for expanding 3G networks and in the not so distant future, 4G. The point I'm making, is that the demographics are changing and evolving and trying to pinpoint that consumer now is really difficult.

The best part about the evolution of the Smartphone is that it will more and more become a tool to mobile workers in the field. So it is extending the user beyond their need to communicate information that is relevant to doing business, and into a tool for improving the way business is done all together. Everything from inventory control from a warehouse worker (the camera acts as a barcode scanner), to credit card transactions in a cab (mini mobile card swipers/receipt printers that work in tandem with a Smartphone are available), have the necessity for the combination of an "on-deck" (on the handset) application and a mobile network for real-time work-flow efficiency.

For a handy online tool that searches and compares smart phones ... and all kinds of cell phones and accessories .... go to: Smart Phone Comparison

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