Google has made it clear that Android developers must use its Google Wallet payment service if they hope to develop games and apps for the mobile platform. While the move may seem restrictive and monopolistic to some, many believe that it will help developers in the long run by providing a streamlined method of payment for customers.
Smartphones to Account for 96 Percent of U.S. Handsets by 2016
Market research firm iGR recently released its U.S. Smartphone Forecast report, detailing sales trends and projections for the smartphone, feature phone, and mobile operating system landscapes for 2011 to 2016. While the rising popularity of smartphones is currently no secret, the firm, which specializes in mobile and wireless industry analysis, estimates that the devices will gain the dominant level of a 96 percent market share in the United States by 2016.
According to iGR, smartphone sales accounted for just 33 percent of all U.S. mobile handset sales in 2009. That number jumped considerably in a short time, as smartphone sales amounted to 76 percent of the U.S. handset market by the end of 2011. With such an astronomical rise in popularity, itís no wonder why iGR projects a 96 percent market share for smartphones by 2016.
A wide variety of factors have contributed to the rather rapid success of smartphones. Hardware and software for mobile devices have seen significant gains in terms of sophistication and innovation, as have carrier networks with advances such as 3G and 4G technology. Many consumers have been lured in by the appeal of smartphones and have upgraded from simplicity offered through their basic feature phone predecessors. Another factor is the seemingly constant need for data to provide entertainment and productivity. Last, but certainly not least, is the rise of smartphone adoption by enterprises for business purposes.
Although the future is definitely bright for the smartphone market, Iain Gillott, iGRís president and founder, warns that original equipment manufacturers as well as software developers looking to capitalize on the boom should jump in while itís hot. He said: ďThe growth in the U.S. smartphone market has been very strong in the last few years. But as the market becomes saturated, smartphone sales growth will slow. For OEMs who are hoping to gain, or regain, market share in the U.S., the time to act is now. By 2014, we believe the majority of the smartphone sales growth will be over.Ē