Wireless web market to grow

The growth will occur largely due to declining prices of the devices, which include handheld computers, wireless application protocol (WAP) phones, smart phones and next generation multimedia phones, said Cliff Raskind, senior industry analyst in the wireless data and computing practice of Strategy Analytics.

Prices will decline considerably over the next five years, meaning people will get more performance for every dollar spent, Raskind said.

What are considered premium phones today will be "entry-level" phones in the future. The wholesale price of WAP, or microbrowser-equipped, phones, for example, will decline to below $US70, while smart phones that include a microprocessor and offer calendars, to do lists and other personal information management features will decline to around $100 from $200 today, Raskind said.

Still, microbrowser-equipped cell phones will account for 70 percent of the units sold and 60 percent of annual revenue in 2005, according to the study.

The "road warrior" mobile professionals, as early technology adopters, will boost the handheld market, but so will average consumers as they begin discovering features such as digital photo sharing.

The handheld market will "really latch on in the consumer segment," Raskind said, when there is more content geared toward fun, communications and entertainment available.

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