Smart-phone wars: Pre conceived – Stiffer competition for the smart-phone throne

This will hardly be a vintage year for the mobile-phone industry. Gartner, a market-research firm, reckons global handset sales will shrink by around 4% to 1.2 billion units. Yet despite the gloom the industry is still pumping out new products. On June 6th Palm, a firm that pioneered hand-held digital devices, started selling a phone called the Pre. Two days later Apple unveiled souped-up versions of its popular iPhone.Both firms are hoping to carve out bigger slices of the market for smart-phones. In addition to allowing people to make calls and check e-mail, these can run programs, or “apps”, designed by third-party developers. This helps explain why demand for them has been growing like mad, even though the rest of the market is in the doldrums. Gartner estimates that sales of smart-phones will soar by 27% this year, to 177m units.To read this report in The Economist in full, see:

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