In 2008, the iPhone created
a step change in the market in terms of design, features and overall customer
experience. It helped stimulate the handset market by prompting handset
manufacturers to create even better devices with improved designs and
interfaces, all taking advantage of the higher data speeds being offered by the
networks. As a result, 2008 was the year when mobile data really took off.
2009 will see further
innovation around the touch screen functionality we have already seen on some
of these devices improving the user experience further. One of the main
developments in 2009 will be camera phone functionality. With camera phone
features already offering face detection, editing and other user-friendly
features historically reserved for digital cameras, consumers will increasingly
be choosing a camera phone as a single device rather than a phone plus a
More devices will be
launched on the Android platform, ultimately offering customers and businesses
a wide range of applications to make their lives easier on the move.
In the current economic
climate, I expect more customers to hold onto their handsets longer and take an
incentive from their network rather than upgrade. I also expect them to place
more emphasis on environmentally friendly options including energy efficient
features and recycling.