Think of the iPhone 3G and the Instinct, to name just two summertime phone introductions. These sorts of product launches are expected to boost handset sales for 2008, according to ABI Research.
The research company said that “iconic” models generate a lot of buzz and get consumers thinking about replacing their devices. This year, more than any in recent past, has seen its share of iconic product introductions.
First weekend sales for the iPhone 3G came in at a cool 1 million devices. Soon RIM will introduce its new BlackBerry models while other handset makers such as Nokia and Samsung unleash their best efforts during Q3 and Q4 2008.
“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% increase the worldwide market has seen in recent years,” said Kevin Burden, ABI research director.
Burden said that handset makers have worked out many of the ease-of-use barriers and delivered devices that are much easier to use. “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 toward ensuring users’ acceptance of new phones and new applications,” he said.
As the industry embraces standardized operating systems, many usability issues also will go away. 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 handset makers’product lines, increasing the penetration of devices using standardized and predictable platforms and boosting overall ease of use.