RealTime IT News

Smartphone Sales Up 50%

Compared to Europe and Asia, American smartphone adoption is still very low.

But it's growing.

In fact, smartphone unit sales almost tripled from 2004 to 2005, and increased by 50 percent in the first half of 2006 over 2005, according to an In-Stat research report.

Numbers like this keep everyone from Google and its search rivals to MapQuest developing applications for smartphones.

But if the In-Stat report is any indication, all that preparation may not pay off just yet.

While adoption has increased, many smartphone users continue to carry the very devices that smartphones are meant to replace.

That's because business users who received their smartphones through work are three times more likely than other users to carry a second wireless phone for personal calls.

Users have also been slow to add new applications to their devices. In-Stat said most users have only downloaded a few applications.

While many smartphones sold in 2006 serve as a combination phone and PDA and others have power and performance comparable to many laptops, most of the smartphones sold globally only enable the user to access the capabilities of basic wireless phones.

In-Stat reports that U.S. smartphone customers are about evenly split among Windows Mobile, BlackBerry OS and Palm OS.