While the launch of Apple’s FaceTime video calling feature with the iPhone 4 will give some impetus to the market for video calls over smartphone devices but it will not lead to it becoming a mass-market technology in the next five years, according to Juniper Research’s recent report: “Next Generation Smartphones: Strategic Opportunities and Markets, 2010-2015.”
“The use of video calling has had several false dawns and has remained flat in recent years,” says Anthony Cox, Senior Analyst. “We forecast that there will be 29 million smartphone video users in 2015, but the market may be held back by a lack of interoperability between different devices,” says Cox. “In the longer term the growth of WiFi and 3G in developing markets may make video calling an attractive option for international calls for those working and living away from their families,” he says.
Further findings from the Smartphones report include:
· Functionality associated with today’s smartphones, such as app store connectivity and touchscreens, will be present in over 84% of handsets shipped in the US by 2015
· The value of global smartphone device shipments will reach $94bn in 2015
· 3D functionality and dual core processors are among several technical developments which will drive the market forward over the next five years
· Barriers to entry for consumer electronics players have reduced as operating systems have become open source and the component market has become increasingly standardised
Additionally, recent developments, like the resignation of Meego’s head Ari Jaaksi, and the decision of both Samsung and Sony Ericsson to abandon Symbian will further boost the position of the Android operating system in the smartphone market over the next five years. Although, Symbian’s historic dominance will guarantee its continued market share over the forecast period, says Juniper.