Over 40 Percent of Consumers Eyeing Smartphones as Next Mobile Device

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Market analysis firm The Yankee Group has published a new report looking at the development of the Palm pre and how Palm and Sprint—two companies desperate to put themselves back on the map—worked together to try to create a blockbuster device. But the report also contains a few interesting items about the anticipated future of the mobile phone market: for instance, it claims that some 41 percent of consumers are likely to choose an “advanced OS” phone—e.g. a smartphone—as their next mobile phone. And these aren’t necessarily inexperienced folks going for the glitz: according to the Yankee Group, the average U.S. consumer has had four mobile devices already, and is looking to their fifth.

The actual subject of the Yankee Group’s report is also of some interest, highlighting how consumer expectations are changing the dynamics between phone makers and mobile operators. Used to be, operators more-or-less dictated to phone makers what they wanted to sell, and operators were pretty much in the driver’s seat in the business relationships. With smartphones, however, that dynamic is changing, as operators and phone makers have to work together to create competitive, integrated features.

The Yankee Group anticipates that the volume of smartphone sales will grow to 38 percent of all handsets sold by 2013, making it the largest growth product category in the mobile industry.