RealTime IT News

Study: New Services To Spur Handset Growth

Next-generation wireless services such as multimedia messaging will spur solid growth in sales of wireless devices in the coming years, a study released late last week by The Strategis Group contends.

The study predicts that 483 million handsets will be sold next year, a 17 percent sales increase worldwide. Much of those sales will be for devices that replace existing devices rather than first-time purchases, the report says.

"We're projecting that handset replacement rates will rebound dramatically in 2002, fueled by end-users who are increasingly ready to migrate to next-generation devices," said Ozgur Aytar, a wireless market analyst with The Strategis Group. "Next-generation services, such as multimedia messaging (MMS), will drive this consumer demand at least into 2003."

Asian markets, including China, will grow by nearly 40 percent next year, the study finds. Overall, one-third of the world's population will own a wireless device by 2008, the report contends.

Aytar noted that existing services such as Short Messaging Service (SMS) and i-mode have caused consumers to be interested in next-generation services.

The findings are part of the report: Global Wireless Devices.