iPhone set to change smartphones forever

Apple is wresting the smartphone from the hands of businessmen - and handing it to the rest of us

Smartphones are about to go mass market - and it's all thanks to Apple's iPhone. That's the message from research group Infonetics , which also says that Wi-Fi mobiles will boom.

"To date, smartphone purchasers have been largely business power-users, but the launch of Apple's iPhone and Samsung's BlackJack - media-playing smartphones that appeal to consumers - is giving the smartphone segment a boost, and could change the dynamics of the mobile phone market.

"Vendors will design more consumer-oriented smartphones, and cause fierce competition among incumbent players," says Richard Webb at Infonetics Research.

Infonetics points to figures in its Mobile and Wi-Fi and Subscribers report , which show increasing mobile use in the developing world, and increased smartphone use in the developed world.

Infonetics said smartphone revenue was up 10 per cent in the first three months of 2007, partly driven by the wider availability of 3G networks.

Fixed Mobile Convergence

Infonetics also said having a Wi-Fi / mobile phone combo is becoming ever more important. It says demand for them will grow by an average of 31 per cent per year between now and 2010.

It also says that seamless handover FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence) phones will make up 35 per cent of the Wi-Fi / mobile phone market - they're currently pegged at 3 per cent.