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Mobile device sales to slow, software to grow


JPMorgan has said it expects mobile phone handset growth to drop by about two per cent in 2009. The reason, says the firm, is that European consumers are reluctant to upgrade their phones in the current economic climate.

This expectation bears out the findings of earlier research from Globo, which shows that 65 per cent of users of mobile phones are not willing to replace their handsets to obtain access to emails or other online applications, even though they want these features.

Dr. Joseph Coughlin, Director, AgeLab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Non-Executive Director, Globo, believes the mobile phone industry needs to start incorporating open source software that can turn any handset into a "smart" phone. Such "all in one" solutions will push, share and synchronise all a users` different applications onto one single platform - and it won`t matter what sort of handset is being used.

Coughlin said: "We have already seen communications bring the death of distance and the next generation of mobile software will really represent the death of `place` and the birth of a mobile society. And this development will continue regardless of the current economic uncertainties.

"Users have moved on from just having a mobile phone - mobility is now taken for granted. What we are looking at now is to be able to build a `mobile lifestyle`, so that we can access our work or social lives regardless of our location, mobile handset, or carrier."


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