Sales of smartphones to reach 300m by 2013

Good news among weakening overall growth in the mobile market

The research firm believes the growth will be stimulated by increasing demand for access to Web 2.0 applications such as Facebook and MySpace.

“The process of evolving mobile phones into Internet-centric, highly personalised mobile computers is well underway,” said report author Andrew Kitson. “Changes in the design and form of mobile devices, such as the inclusion of large touch-based displays, have been taken to their limits. 

"Looking ahead, the shape and form of next-generation devices will most likely be led by software and content, rather than hardware, as vendors such as Nokia strive to make their devices highly personalised and rooted firmly in the online environment.”

The report also finds that almost one in four (23 per cent) of the mobile phones sold in 2013 will be smartphones, up from 13 per cent last year.

The news comes at a time when the outlook for mobile phones is weakening. Junper says that total device shipments grew by a nominal 5-6 per cent in 2008, but key vendors expect a decline of 10 per cent or more in 2009.

Vendors such as Nokia and Sony Ericsson are diversifying into services to bolster earnings as margins on handsets fall. These include offerings such as music libraries and location-based social networking services.

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