Multimedia a growing must-have for mobile devices

Users demanding devices that can be personalised and offer voice, messaging, social networking and multimedia

A new report by Frost & Sullivan has found that changing consumer attitudes are driving the trend towards intelligent mobile devices with high-quality multimedia capabilities.

The report, Exploring the European Market for Mobile Smart Devices, has identified what the research firm says is a change in the innovation process behind the evolution of mobile from an industry-based model to an open innovation model. This is characterised by an exchange process comprising a web of interactions among different participants: mobile manufacturers, mobile operators, and other related participants, new entrants from other segments, consumers, open source community, industrial designers and policy bodies.

“The European mobile communications market is becoming smarter,” commented Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Saverio Romeo. “The penetration of mobile smart devices in Europe passed the 10% mark at the end of 2006, demonstrating that European users are looking for an intelligent and multimedia-rich mobile experience.”

Frost & Sullivan says that at the end of 2006, the number of mobile smart devices shipped in Europe stood at 26 million; this number is projected to reach almost 100 million units at the end of 2012. Changing consumption patterns that embrace the more active usage of mobile phones will be the key driver to this growth. Consumers want devices that can be personalised and offer several functionalities: voice, messaging, social networking and multimedia services.

The analyst advises that in order to satisfy such new consumer requirements, mobile smart devices have to improve their user interface. This includes sophisticated technologies to enhance screen quality, keyboard usability, fast connectivity, computational capacity and long battery life. All this requires significant investments in R&D.

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