According to the latest research on smartphone markets from ABI Research, Nokia has maintained its leadership position with a 56.4 percent share of the 70.9 million units shipped in 2006. Nokia sold 40 million smartphones in 2006, compared to 28.5 million in 2005. Motorola also had a strong 2006 and occupied the second position with 8.5 percent market share, driven by the success of its Linux-based devices in China, most notably the MING. At the same time, Symbian's strong position in the smartphone operating system market is under continued and increasing threat. In 2006 it was estimated that Symbian held a 73 percent share of the smartphone operating system market. It is forecast that this figure will fall to 46 percent by 2012, due to competition coming from Linux and Windows Mobile.
According to mobile wireless research analyst Shailendra Pandey, "The key in differentiating smartphone products still lies in the physical design, and the look and feel of the user interface. The right combination of size, form factor, operating system, and bundled applications will determine the success of a smartphone." In addition to the usual features, consumers are now increasingly seeking smartphones that have touch screens, MP3 players, Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth, fast processors, and lots of memory as well as an expansion card slot.
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