Look Who's Talking About Smart Phones

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Includes: AAPL, BBRY, DELL, ERIC, FDN, GOOG, HHH, IAH, IYZ, NOK, PALM, TTH, VOX, VZ, WMH
by: Judy Weil

CNET says 'Look Out RIM' as Dell introduces its new Smart phone. WSJ says Dell’s (NASDAQ:DELL) device would compete with Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and RIM’s (RIMM) Blackberry. Palm is in the game with its latest Palm Pre (PALM).

Verizon (NYSE:VZ), which is supposedly not even focusing on its wireless business as much as it is on TV and FiOS, noted how profitable Smart phones are and will be. From Verizon Communications Inc. Q408 conference call:

In wireless we launched a total of 36 new devices in 2008, more than 1/3 of which were PDA’s or Smart phones and we already have about two dozen new devices scheduled to launch in the first half of 2009. We were the first to introduce nationwide unlimited plan aimed at the high end of the market and the first to introduce megabit pricing for data usage.

Smart phone sales continue to accelerate representing more than 37% of the retail devices sold in the fourth quarter up from 30% last quarter.

We are selling more Smart phones… We are increasing our focus on the business segment where we have relatively lower share. Our growth drivers are clearly performing for us. We are first to report but I don’t think we lost share this quarter. Our reporting ratio actually improved. We have no evidence of slowing or customers trading down either on plans or features.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) also mentioned Smart phones in its strategy on the internet search company's Q408 Q&A session:

The mobile strategy… is front and center in the strategy of the company, and Android and mobile continues to be a huge part.

We're really seeing significant increases in the sales of the smarter phones, both the iPhone, which we mentioned, but also Android. With those kind of phones, it's going to significantly grow the pie for mobile searches, and these smart phones have full browsers. When you have a full browser, then you are typically not as dependent on a deal that locks somebody into a particular direction from a search perspective. So, the better browsers get, the better phones get, and the better ecosystem that evolves there, the better from our perspective.

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