Extreme Convergence: When a Cell Phone is No Longer Just a Cell Phone
This article is based on the premise that cell phone technology has significantly changed in the last decade—although this is quite an understatement. Along with the technology changes come the changes in how we use our cell phones. While the majority of cell phone users are still using their cell phones only for voice communications, there is a growing constituency of users that look to their phones for Internet readiness, wireless local-area networking (WLAN), global positioning service (GPS), and Bluetooth connectivity, coupled with the ability to deliver portable applications like multi-media messaging, voice activation features, gaming, wireless photos, mobile video, and MP3 playback.
In 2003, these enhanced feature phones, otherwise known as converged mobile devices or smartphones, are forecast to make up 3% of worldwide mobile phone sales volume. The converged mobile device market will continue to expand at triple digit year-over-year growth rates, driven by the evolution of voice-centric converged mobile devices, mobile phones with applications processors, and advanced operating systems supporting a range of data functions, including application download and execution. These voice-centric devices are specifically designed and positioned to serve as a subscriber’s only mobile device, ultimately replacing pagers and PDAs.
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