The smartphone as a category is "dead", according to new research by Forrester, which calls for the need to reappraise and re-categorise the mobile phone market.
The analyst firm's Smartphone Is Dead report argues that all mobile handsets today are becoming 'smart', with even mass-market 'feature phones' now shipping with internet access and advanced multimedia capabilities.
Innovation at the high end of the market - with Apple's iPhone, Google's Android operating system, Palm's Pre and the touch-screen BlackBerry Storm, is trickling down to the mass market, according to report author Ian Fogg.
The poor economy, meanwhile, is putting additional pressure on handset makers to make their devices more competitive.
Fogg explained that the "up-speccing" of mobiles could also put pressure on the makers of adjacent devices, such as MP3 players, satellite navigation kit, video cameras and handheld games consoles.
"A mobile that is within touching distance and 'good enough' at the task in question will make an impact," said the report.
"Mobiles caused damage to film cameras long before the arrival of multi-megapixel models that matched their picture quality, as the convenient 24x7 availability in consumers' pockets increased their appeal."
In the absence of the term 'smartphone', the report calls for mobile handsets to be thought about in relation to three new criteria: openness and extensibility; consumption and creation; utility and entertainment.
"The internet is a software game delivered across web sites, web services and downloadable applications. To play, mobile devices must have a strong software team that executes well," said the report. "The mobile players that have the smartest software strategy will win out in the long run."
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