2008: The year of the Smartphones

2008: the iPhone 3G has lead the march of the Smartphone over the last year
2008: the iPhone 3G has lead the march of the Smartphone over the last year

While Smartphones have been around for a few years now, there is no doubt that 2008 has been a 'tipping point' year in the growth of the market for such devices.

Apple's iPhone 3G has dominated the tech headlines this year, closely followed by the Google G1, the BlackBerry Storm and last but in no way least, the Nokia 97.

Smartphone tech in 2009

"The popularity of these devices has brought to light several problems that look set to become acute in 2009," claims the BBC's tech correspondent, Mark Ward.

Andrew Bud, chairman of mobile firm Mblox and director of the Mobile Entertainment Forum, notes how the Smartphone boom in 2008 has fuelled the rest of the mobile market.

"We've also seen the emergence of applications as a whole new content category," he tells the BBC, with a nod to Apple and Google.

"3G has really started to deliver on its promise," adds Steven Hartley, senior analyst at Ovum, due to the use of High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) tech.

HSPA plus speed boost

Dan Warren, director of technology at the GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) Association, added that: "HSPA+ will start to become prevalent in 2009. It takes you up to 42Mbps but the maximum at the moment is 7.2Mbps in the UK."

Mblox's Andrew Bud notes that there are still widespread fears amongst consumers about the cost risks associated with mobile downloading.

"The price consumers see should be the price they pay," added Bud.

Adam Hartley