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Ovum asserts healthy smartphone sales in 2009

Shipments are forecast to rise 23% despite an overall drop in the total cellphone market

Research firm Ovum has predicted a healthy 23% rise in smartphone sales this year despite a dramatic fall in the global cellphone market because of the ongoing economic turmoil.

Smartphones are expected to enjoy stable growth through till 2014, at which point the segment is estimated to account for a full 29% of the total cellphone market.

The capabilities of smartphones are being subject to scrutiny however with very few devices actually incorporating hyped features such as widgets and application stores. Only around 10% of smartphones were found to support web widgets while Apple’s iPhone, HTC’s Android phones and a few Nokia handsets were the only ones to come with app stores pre-installed, which Ovum thinks will change soon.

“We expect a big change in this area in the next version of the smartphone tracker, as platform owners and manufacturers have now begun to respond in earnest to the app store buzz. On-device app stores have launched on BlackBerry and Palm’s WebOS, Nokia now has Ovi Store, Windows Mobile 6.5 will feature an app store, and a greater proportion of new handsets will feature these clients…,” stated Ovum analyst Tim Renowden.