Seven smartphone predictions for 2010

What will happen to iPhones and Android in the new year?

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Looking at smartphone growth by the numbers, it's a cinch to predict that smartphone sales will continue to boom in 2010.

But the real story of the smartphone's future is not in the numbers. It's a personal one told in many different ways by many smartphone users. One such user, John Davis, has been a physician for many years. He owns a new Droid smartphone.

Davis cites many reasons for buying a Droid, the main one being that it is the closest thing to Apple's fantastically successful iPhone that runs on the Verizon network. Having been a Verizon customer for years, Davis said he trusts the Verizon network more than he does the one offered by AT&T, the wireless carrier with exclusive rights to the iPhone in the US.

Aside from some initial voice echo problems, Davis sees the Droid as being handy for personal use and in his medical practice, where he can use it to browse for new research and exchange email with colleagues. The Droid's GPS capability is another plus.

But in the end, this is how Davis summarises what could be the smartphone's biggest impact in the world of computing and communications: "Eventually, this thing is my computer."

He means, of course, that the Droid or a future smartphone could someday replace his desktop computer, laptop and even other phones.

Whether smartphones ever become the handheld computing/communication devices that replace other computers remains to be seen, but they are already powerful and popular. They have been popular enough, in fact, to sustain the mobile phone market during a recession, and they will continue to generate healthy growth for the sector into 2010, according to several analyst firms.

So that's the basis of the first prediction for 2010, and it's a safe one:

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