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Smartphones Try To Outsmart the Competition December 8, 2008

Posted by aikservices in AT&T, BlackBerry, CDMA, GSM, iPhone, Microsoft, Mobile, Research In Motion, RIM, Smartphone, Telecom, Verizon Wireless, Wireless, YouTube.
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Cell phone carriers are touting their smartphones as the smart choice for the holiday season. Verizon Wireless and Research in Motion’s new BlackBerry Storm has all the familiar BlackBerry features but is a touch-screen device.

Audrey Lundy, public relations manager for Verizon Wireless, said Verizon incorporated the touch-screen to keep up with customer demand. The Storm employs a clickable touch-screen that is designed to respond like a keyboard.

When Apple’s iPhone came into the marketplace in 2007, users were excited about its touch-screen capability. The phone also offers more than 5,000 downloadable applications like navigation tools and access to YouTube.

The iPhone was the No. 1-selling phone for the third quarter of this year. Even with its success, some said the iPhone is for general consumers while the BlackBerry is for the business community.

The launch of the iPhone 3G added Microsoft Exchange access and GPS technology, which could in turn appeal more to the business crowd, said Brian Bollenbach, director of product development for Anyware Mobile Solutions. The BlackBerry and the iPhone still have their niche audiences, he said. But additions and phone upgrades are increasing their customer base. “I say in both cases they have opportunities to bleed over to both markets with their new versions,” said Bollenbach.

Smart phones took off about six years ago, said Bollenbach. They offered mobile  versions of applications business people had on their home computers, making it easier to work away from the office.

Various industries took note of the increasing popularity for mobile devices. They started creating mobile Web sites, but many were slow to take off because it took a long time to download all the information. Bollenbach said in the past year there have been significant improvements to browsers that have sped up loading time. The success of the iPhone in the past year has the other carriers taking note of its forward-thinking applications, he said. “The systems are going to continue to become more diverse,” said Bollenbach. “I do think we’ll see certain carriers lose market shares and others will gain.”

Which company will see the most success depends on consumers’ carrier service, he said. The iPhone works for AT&T  subscribers and the BlackBerry Storm is on the Verizon plan. Those services could influence future smart-phone purchases.

“I would say iPhone is off to a good start, they have a loyal fan base,” he said. “But we’ll have to see.”

Even with people conserving their money this holiday season, Bollenbach anticipates many smart phones are a likely gift purchase this year.

Wireless Industry News

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