The web in the palm of your hand

Kate Bulkley

Big brands are battling over the pink and green future of mobile internet

The future for the mobile phone looks big, even bigger than the 3.3 billion people (half the world’s population) that already own one today. And despite some bumps in economies like debt-laden Spain, Greece and Portugal, mobile phone growth in markets like India, China and Africa are galloping at a breathtaking pace, with 200 million new mobile customers signing up in India in 2010 alone.

Not only have two-thirds of new mobile subscribers in the past two years come from emerging and developing countries, but crucially these areas of the world are increasingly using phones that connect them to the internet. It is these ‘smart phones’ that operators and application developers are betting on to drive a large part of the new growth. Indeed, by 2014, of the estimated 1.4 billion new mobile phones expected to be sold globally, 37 per cent of them will be smartphones, according to IHS Screen Digest.

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