2011 to be the Year of the Smartphone?

Dec 5, 2010
Finance

The Chinese describe 2011 as the Year of the Rabbit. But 2011 also is shaping up to be the Year of the Smartphone. Right now, only one in four mobile subscribers have smartphones. New research suggests that half of us will have gone the way of the smartphone in 2011. Horace Dediu forecasts at asymco: […]

The Chinese describe 2011 as the Year of the Rabbit. But 2011 also is shaping up to be the Year of the Smartphone.

Right now, only one in four mobile subscribers have smartphones. New research suggests that half of us will have gone the way of the smartphone in 2011.

Horace Dediu forecasts at asymco: “If my forecast is correct, smartphones will make up 50 percent of all phones in use by the end of 2011. That’s up from nearly 30 percent today and 18 percent a year ago.

Dediu expects 120 million Americans will be using smartphones, up from 35 million today. One third will be either iOS from Apple (AAPL) or Android from Google (GOOG).

He cites ComScore MobiLens that 61 million Americans owned smartphones through Halloween, up 14 percent from the previous three months. That comes out to one in four mobile subscribers having smartphones.

Looking at the market, Nielsen reports that the iPhone and BlackBerry from Research in Motion (RIMM) each have 27 percent of the market in the United States. Meanwhile, fast-growing Android has 22 percent.

Nielsen says, “Apple’s iPhone and devices with the Android operating system were the ‘most desired’ among likely smartphone upgraders, with Apple showing a slight lead among those age 55+, 18 to 24, and 25 to 34.” Women tend to prefer iPhone while men tend to prefer Android.

Dediu says unlimited data plans will be a major revenue source for mobile operators in 2012, throwing into flux rate competition.

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Fortune says Dediu’s forecasts have been “pretty good” so far, describing him as “the new king of Apple analysts.”

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