Mobile market to double in five years

Brief: Gartner sees cheaper mobiles ahead, as manufacturers look to increase the size of the global mobile market

Analyst Gartner predicted on Monday that the number of mobile users globally is set to double from 1.5 billion people today to three billion people by 2010.

This growth will encourage mobile manufacturers to innovate, Garner believes, as people in the Asia-Pacific region — where mobile take-up is tipped to soar in the near future — will demand cheaper handsets than users in some other parts of the world.

"We will see a lot of innovation coming out of Asia," said Nick Jones, vice-president of research for Gartner. "That's forcing the price down and opens up a whole new set of opportunities."

Late last year, Nokia upped its forecast for the growth of the global mobile market, based on rapid take-up in countries like China, India and Brazil.

Jones said that the UK mobile phone market is approaching saturation, as many people now own more than one handset.

"What this means is multiple ownership," he said. "From a CIO's perspective, that's a nightmare for support," claimed Jones, warning that increased mobility has its downsides.

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