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While some VARs may have stayed away from the smartphone business because
they can’t complete the transaction for their business end customers, others
are starting to embrace the devices and the smartphone integration services
they can provide to customers.

That’s what a handful of VARs have told Channel Insider—the opportunity is not
in the hardware sale, it is in making the device work with existing
applications such as Microsoft Exchange, CRM
apps and other business software infrastructure. And that opportunity gets
bigger every time a vendor introduces a new operating system—Android, for
example.

Android’s market entry, along with a few other
upstart OSes in the mobile space, was one of the market forces identified by
research analyst firm IDC in a report about
the changing mobile marketplace.

The research firm says the mobile sector is now worth $850 billion globally, or
57 percent of the total global telecom market. It’s also the fastest growing
market and will make up 62 percent of the total telecom market this year, the
firm said.

iPhone
Infiltrates BlackBerry’s Enterprise Stronghold

IDC identified the following four major
trends that will be shaping the mobile industry in the years to come that VARs
should watch as they work to provide integration services in this space:

  • As revenue growth slows for
    voice services and hardware sales, the importance of mobile data, mobile
    broadband and applications will continue to grow.  
  • Smartphones have emerged as a
    driver of the global mobile market, with 15 percent of all devices
    shipped. Another driver will likely be the emergence of connected devices,
    such as embedded laptops and industrial/machine-to-machine (M2M) devices.
  • This year, 2010, will bring
    substantial transformation in the mobile operating system landscape as
    newcomers such as Android and Mac OS X and webOS infiltrate a market that
    had been dominated by BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Mobile.
  • In the infrastructure
    segment, mobile broadband will continue to be the focus this year with
    operators in mature markets implementing HSPA. WiMax will be a key driver
    in many emerging markets, while LTE will begin to take hold toward the end
    of the year and into 2011.

"The mobile sector is in transition from its prior focus on subscriber
growth,” said Courtney Munroe, group vice president of Worldwide Telecommunications
at IDC. “The expanding demographics of
smartphones and new operating systems, the arrival of mobile broadband, and the
explosive growth of applications and content are combining to reshape the
landscape of mobile telecommunications.”