Global mobile handset shipments totaled approximately 1.15 billion in 2009, with enhanced phones and smartphones capturing approximately 81% of all handset shipments, according to the latest data from ABI research firm. According to the trends outlined by ABI, the “perfect” phone of 2009 supported 3.5G networks, was based on Windows Mobile platform and featured bar form-factor
“In recent years the major technology and application trends in handset design have focused on 3G (and beyond) capabilities including web surfing, social networking, multimedia, connectivity, better cameras, VoIP, pico projectors and more,” said Celia Bo, an analyst with ABI Research.
According to ABI, the trends are following:
- 3.5G Models: The 3.5G handset category is the fastest-growing segment among all the models announced by vendors. 56% of handsets models in 2009 were 3.5G-ready devices, while the number of 2G and 2.5G models dropped in comparison.
- GPS Handsets: The Global Positioning System has secured a solid position in the automotive segment and is gaining traction in mobile phones, becoming a hot wireless connectivity application for smart phone designers and manufacturers. The penetration rate in new models reached 48% in 2009 compared to 29% in 2008.
- Form-Factors: In 2009, the classic bar form-factor led the market, accounting for 51% of announced handset models, followed by slider handsets at 27%. After a long decline, clamshell handset models picked up 19% market share among announced models.
- Operating Systems: Microsoft Windows Mobile still has the highest adoption rate among operating systems of newly launched models, with Symbian taking second place.
- Handset Chipsets: The chipset is at the heart of a handset; it integrates multiple function blocks and aligns them to different operating system platforms. While Qualcomm’s Snapdragon, TI’s OMAP, Intel’s Atom and Nvidia’s Tegra are driving the markets for 3G and 3.5G technology, the development of 4th Generation LTE and WiMAX chipsets is primarily led by Altair Semiconductor, Wavesat, and Comsys Mobile, among others.