The Year of the Smartphone

It seems to me the smartphone sweepstakes are getting a bit crowded. Just a few days ago, Acer revealed plans  to announce its entry into the market. Now the Wall Street Journal has set the blogosphere aflame with its report that Dell is set to jump into the field. 

According to the Journal, Dell has been working on the product for a year and produced protoypes that Run in Windows and Google's new Android operating system. Wth the World Mobile Congress coming up in a few weeks in Barcelona (where Acer is targeting its move), you can expect even more announcements.

The good news is that ABI Research has just come out with a report, picked up by InformationWeek, that predicts the smartphone market will continue to grow despite the global recession. In fact, ABI says 2009 is going to wind up being the "year of the smartphone." I believe that, but I wonder just how many vendors we need in the market and how the channel will get cut into the action.

We already have Nokia, Apple, Motorola, Ericsson, Google and Samsung with viable products. Acer is coming in soon. Now Dell wants in? That could be tough, unless Dell figures how to differentiate itself somehow. Dell's strength has always been manufacturing and logistics, but neither seems to be much of a factor in the smartphone biz. Smartphones are cool, but there is a pretty nasty recession going on here. All this competition will result in cut-throat prices and lower margins and, well, you know how the story goes from there...

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