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The smartphone is dead: Forrester Research

The smartphone is dead, according to Forrester Research. The study claims the category is no longer useful as all phones become smart.

Apple and Google's arrival in the mobile market is causing other companies to try to get into the smartphone space, according to the Forrester research titled, "The Smartphone Is Dead: Long Live Smart Phones and Smart Gadgets." This opens up opportunities for mobile marketers.

"All mobile handsets are becoming smarter and Internet-capable," writes Forrester analyst Ian Fogg, the author of the research. "Yesterday's smart high-end phone is today's midrange phone and tomorrow's entry-level phone.

"The smartphone category is no longer useful as all phones become smart," the study says.

Instead, the research suggests three new frameworks to segment the smart mobile device market: 1) Openness and extensibility, 2) Consumption and creation and 3) Utility and entertainment.

All mobile strategies must now adapt.

Manufacturers need to respond to the growing demand of smarter phones and to the expectations that consumers now have for the mobile Web.

Companies are understanding the importance with keeping up with this race to make the smartest phone and as mobile phones become smarter, with better cameras, better satnavs, and better music players, their abilities will continue to lag the best specialist devices.

"Firstly this research is about the smartphone category being dead and not smartphones being dead," Mr. Fogg said. "All phones are becoming smart and this means that marketers can't restrict their activities to high end handsets, they need to look at the whole handset market because opportunities are opening up everywhere.

"High-end handsets were always on high end plans and younger people weren't using them," he said. "Now with all handsets becoming smarter there is overlap in the demographics of handset users and what types of devices they are using."

So how do companies take advantage of this myriad of smartphones that are either in the works or already out there?

Brands and marketers need to offer services or content on mobile handsets.

Additionally, another good way to make use of the smartphone market is to figure out who the leader in the space is and then license technologies to that handset maker or makers.

Both the mobile market and adjacent markets need new frameworks to base their future strategies on, according to Forrester.

"The mobile market is no longer just communication: It's Internet, music, video, Web, social networks, navigation, and everything else,' the report says. "The mobile ecosystem now embraces anything a consumer wishes to do either on the move or on a handheld device at home.

The traditional mobile industry ecosystem is expanding, and all devices -- both mobile handsets and standalone specialist devices -- are becoming smarter," it says.

Forrester believes there are better criteria that define the mobile device market.

"The fact that all handsets are getting smarter also means more opportunities for mobile advertising, display advertising specifically," Mr. Fogg said. "The quality of the screens is one of the factors positively impacting mobile advertising.

"The key advice for mobile marketers in terms of mobile advertising is that it is essential to look at the profile of your consumer to understand the opportunity in the mobile market and how these opportunities correspond to your target audience." he said.