About 41 percent of home users plan to buy a smartphone as their next portable device, the Yankee Group has concluded in a new study. The difference puts the devices above regular phones, media players and other handhelds, and is characterized as part of a broader trend towards smartphones as a whole. Analysts at Yankee estimate that as much as 38 percent of the total cellphone market could be using smartphones by 2013.
The expansion is credited to an increasing desire to do more than just make calls as data and media playback become more accessible.
Such findings arrive just as Apple has cut the price of an iPhone 3G to $99 and as Palm has launched the Pre, spurring the use of smartphones as pocket computers rather than just calling devices. Low-cost predecessors like the BlackBerry Pearl and Palm Centro have also helped lay the groundwork for that level of growth by quickly hitting the $99 mark.