Wi-Fi Now a Smartphone Must-Have

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RIAs and Widget Frameworks

Widgets are another buzzword in the industry, but the tracker shows that only around 10% of smartphones support Internet widget frameworks. This is another area where we expect rapid growth in adoption through 2009/10.

Ovum has previously discussed the potential for rich Internet application (RIA) frameworks as application platforms in mobile handsets but the tracker shows how little impact RIAs have so far made on smartphones. Adobe's Flash and Flash Lite have achieved the best penetration with 41 smartphone models supporting Flash.

Renowden said Symbian dominates the RIA figure, wherein 25 are Symbian-based (all except one of the Symbian handsets released support Flash). Windows Mobile has patchy support for Flash (manufacturers even support it inconsistently across their Windows Mobile portfolios), and iPhone OS and Android currently do not support it at all.

Of the other RIA frameworks tracked (Adobe AIR and Microsoft Silverlight), penetration is zero, indicating that usefulness of these platforms for application developers is still some way off.

App Store Changes

Renowden reported that Ovum expects a big change in the rise of on-device application stores when it comes to the next version of the smartphone tracker, as platform owners and manufacturers have now began to respond in earnest to the app store buzz.

He describes app stores to be "cooking unevenly."

"One of the biggest talking points in the industry in the last 12 months has been the rise of on-device application stores. Despite the limitless hype, for the sample period very few devices were released with pre-installed app store clients," he said. "Apple's iPhone, HTC's Android devices and several Nokia handsets (featuring Nokia's Download! client, not the newer Ovi Store) were the only devices with app stores pre-installed."

Renowden added 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 in the next version of the tracker.

This story, "Wi-Fi Now a Smartphone Must-Have" was originally published by Computerworld Philippines.

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