Consumers get smart: 41% to buy a smartphone

Consumers are getting smart. According to new research by Yankee Group, 41 percent of consumers are likely to choose a smartphone as their next mobile device, a trend that could alter the relationship between handset OEMs and wireless carriers.

The Yankee Group said that smartphones will account for 38 percent of all handsets by 2013. The firm said wireless users' familiarity with cell phones--the average U.S. consumer has had four mobile devices, according to Yankee Group--has stoked their appetite for feature-rich smartphones.

Interestingly, the growing number of smartphones-toting users may disrupt the traditional carrier-handset maker relationship. While carriers have traditionally had the upper hand in the relationship--promoting their brand above and beyond that of the hardware maker--that dynamic may change due to increased competition in the smartphone space, rising consumer expectations and tighter budgets. Thus, carriers and handset makers will have to work more closely, and on a more level playing field, Yankee said.

For more:
- see this release
- see this NYT article

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