Are the Smartphones creating a Social Under Class?

New tools such as SatNav, SMS texting, e-mail checking on the move, socialising with friends and colleagues on social networking sites, web access on the move, video and picture taking has made the Smartphones the modern mini computer in the pocket. More and more people are making the choice of owning a sophisticated smart phone.

RIM BlackBerryThe Smartphone market has been growing thanks to the revolution set by the iPhone, which has dominated the market and demand for this phone is huge. Many people I talk to either want one or are thinking of buying one, however there are also many people who find these phones far to expensive to buy. The prices demanded by the mobile phone networks and companies such as Apple is making these phones out of reach for many mobile phone users.

The fight at the moment is three ways between Apple’s iPhone 4, Google’s Android software based phones and RIM’s Blackberry, Nokia, Palm and others have a lot to catch up with.

The BlackBerry has always been aimed at the corporate business market over the years, but with competition growing in the Smartphone sector, RIM’s BlackBerry has more competition than it can handle, as the iPhone and others pull buzzing social media generations towards there handset. In the current credit crunch climate and to keep costs down employer s are giving employees the option to buy their own choice of Smartphone. Requests for access to corporate e-mail using handsets other than the BlackBerry are on the increase. Smartphone makers such as Apple and Google Android are breaking into areas previously held by BlackBerry and Microsoft Mobile software based phones, the US Military are in the process of approving the iPhone and Android phones for use on its network by its employees, opening the doors to these two companies. This could change the whole playing fields of the corporate Smartphone market killing Blackberry’s strong hold into boardrooms around the world.

HTC Desire Android PhoneGoogle as a new player in the Smartphone market has created a buzz amongst the non Apple gang, who see the Android phone as a real competitor to the iPhone dominance and some believe Android will become the predominant player in 2-3 years time, with Google’s power and following this could be true. Android has an advantage over other mobile operating systems, especially over Apple’s iOS, because it runs on dozens of different phones at a wide range of prices and with a large number of carriers worldwide.

So where is the global phone leader Nokia in all this, no-where to be seen is the answer, even though it’s the No1 phone seller globally, its way behind in this battle of the giants in the Smartphone market. Nokia’s N8 Symbian Smartphone with 12 Mega Pixel camera, HD recording and other features makes it a phone with all the boxes ticked, however the user interface and feedback from Symbian phone users is not good news for Nokia. Nokia’s OS still has a lot to prove to its huge loosing user base. The OS has to overcome its past flaky image. I tried several of the Nokia Symbian phones before moving away from the mobile phone leader. I’m still to be convinced Nokia have a grasp of the Smartphone OS or have a phone able to compete with the likes of RIM, Apple or Google.

Recent sales in the US have the Android in the top and so do other major countries for the first time over taking RIM and Apple. A few dying handset makers have revived their business thanks to Google’s Android software, this includes HTC and Motorola who have been a long time producer of Microsoft software based phones, recently choosing to go with Google even though Microsoft has re-designed their mobile phone software.

One thing that is about to change is that low cost Smartphone handset makers from around the world may have the opportunity to produce Smartphone which look cool and pretty, thanks to the Android software. The use of Android in low cost handsets will allow those who never could produce good enough software to woo new Smartphone users, some of whom may be the Smartphone underclass, we may have to look back at this in a few years time.

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