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Smartphones, Palms to dominate mobile market

WAP, CDMA will to become de facto standards, report reckons

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Smart phone manufacturers and Palm Computing are the companies to watch next year, according to Datacomm Research's latest study of the mobile market, Wireless Web Wonders: Opportunities for Smart Phones and PDAs.

The market research company predicts that in less than five years, 90 per cent of all mobile phone sales will be for WAP-enabled handsets as the world and its dog use cellphones to access the Internet on the move. Devices that combine smart phone technology with more traditional palmtop functionality will account for more than 350 million units sold by 2003, the company added.

This is, of course, where Palm comes in, riding a wave powered by its own flotation out of parent company 3Com and the surging interest in wireless data applications, especially in Europe and the Far East. That will drive the CDMA's domination of the market.

The growth in wireless applications will increase demand for bandwidth. In turn, that will play into Europe and Asia's desire to standardise on CDMA, while the US continues to leave it to the market to decide on the best technology for the task. Palm's current market position, plus its widening complement of big name licensees - Sony in particular - will grow its strength in the consumer marketplace, relegating Windows Powered devices (the handhelds formerly known as Windows CE-based machines) to vertical markets. ®

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