I read a very thoughtful blog today by Michael Mace, a wireless industry veteran http://mobileopportunity.blogspot.com/2007/01/shape-of-smartphone-and-mobile-data.html
However, I disagree with one of his core points. He argues that the market is improperly forecasting that smartphones are for everyone and he instead views there as being two markets, 1/3 of people using more than voice in the US and 2/3 of people using voice only in the USA and therefore who will not need a smartphone. His graph is below:
While I respect Mr. Mace's insight and experience, I believe his blog misses the point. The mobile user market may be shaped like a two hump camel today, but he implies the market will be static, and I disagree. His argument reminds me of the famous McKinsey study for AT&T prior to 1984 in which McKinsey recommended AT&T shed its wireless licenses on the Baby Bells since only 1 million people who ever want to pay a high price per month to carry a brick sized telephone around. Today, in 2007, e-mail and photo sharing websites are not only well used by the mass market, they are increasingly adopted by senior citizens. When the mobile web over smart phones built by industry titans like Mr. Mace are as easy to use as a PC is today, smart phones will dominate over commodity handsets, the way broadband is dominating over narrowband. The question is not if, but when the two camel humps will flatten out.