Report: 43% of consumers will buy a smartphone next

CHICAGO--During the opening session at 4G World, an event sponsored by Yankee Group/Trendsmedia, Yankee Group senior research fellow Phil Marshall implored the industry to not underestimate the power of the mobile Internet and not to assume that the same business models and distribution channels that have worked in the past will continue to be profitable.

Specifically, Marshall said that operators will probably not have the same control over the distribution of smartphones that they have had with feature phones. And smartphones are growing in popularity--a trend made clear by Yankee Group survey results that found 43 percent of respondents said they were likely or very likely to purchase a smartphone as their next device.

In fact, Marshall advised operators to invest in the network edge by providing more intelligence in the delivery of services and applications, because that is where they likely will be able to differentiate their services from the competition. To back up his statement, Marshall pointed to a Yankee Group study that found 50 percent of consumers said they would pay for SMS and text applications, while 34 percent said they would pay for mobile Internet access and 31 percent said they would pay for email access. Marshall said these statistics show a shift among consumers toward embracing the mobile Internet.

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