updated 05:10 pm EST, Wed January 31, 2007
ABI on Cellphone Demand
Cellphone makers have misjudged the market, says a new report by New York-based ABI Research. While many designers are focusing on HSDPA and other 3G wireless Internet connections, most of the buyers looking beyond basic phones are more interested in media playback and style, the analysts say. Though sales of cellphones reached one billion units in 2006, Internet-focused phones such as the Nokia E61 actually suffered from lower sales in the year, baffling many expectations. Phone owners are also "fickle" when it came to fashion, ABI's Stuart Carlaw notes: while Motorola's RAZR may have saved the company years ago, it no longer has its early appeal.
Predicting the future, the researchers specifically singled out the iPhone as one of the phones standing the best chance of success. The Apple handset not only emphasizes its iPod-like media functions but should also do well because it breaks from the conventional lineups that no longer interest them, ABI writes. In contrast, the report bodes ill for the recently unveiled RAZR V3xx and other devices that rely almost exclusively on their 3G support as a selling point.