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Impressive H2 launches to help mobile phones

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CIOL Bureau
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NEW YORK, USA: Some impressive mobile phone product launches between now and late 2008 will help the world’s mobile handset markets close out the year with strong sales, according to ABI Research.

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Apple’s second-generation iPhone has just gone on sale, generating as much buzz as its predecessor. RIM is expected to debut important new BlackBerry models soon, and other handset vendors will add their best efforts as the second half of 2008 progresses. Such “iconic” models generate a lot of interest around the handset industry and get consumers thinking about replacement.

According to research director Kevin Burden: “2008 should still be a very good year for the global mobile phone market. While Q2 performance figures are still preliminary until finalized at the end of July, early indications do not point to an aggressively weak quarter. Historically, the second half of the year has always outperformed the first, and despite nearly global economic problems, a second half lift is still expected, although likely lower than the near 20 percent increase the worldwide market has seen in recent years.”

One of the strongest drivers for new handset adoption is the design trend over the last two years towards greater simplicity. “A lot of advanced technologies and applications have been built into phones,” says Burden, “but there have often been technical or ease-of-use barriers that prevented wide adoption. The trend now is about making better use of what we have rather than introducing a flood of new services and network features. That’s going to go a long way towards ensuring users’ acceptance of new phones and new applications.”

Many usability issues will also be progressively worked out as the industry increasingly moves towards standardized operating systems. Proprietary real-time operating systems can be painful to manage for operators as well as for users. “Open” operating systems will continue to migrate down phone vendors’ product lines, increasing the penetration of devices using standardized and predictable platforms and boosting overall ease of use.

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