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Management Report

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Transformation of Business Models in Mobile Big Bang Era

Transformation of Business Models in Mobile Big Bang Era

KWON Ki-Duk

Feb. 22, 2010

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Mostly used by business people and early adopters in the past, smartphones have recently been increasingly adopted by the general public. In 2004, Research In Motion's BlackBerry gained popularity among office workers in major US cities, while Apple's subsequent release of its iPhone 3G in July 2008, emphasizing better usability and easy access to content, put smartphones in full swing. In Korea, the craze for smartphones began in the latter half of 2009 with the launch of Samsung Electronics' Omnia II in October and the introduction of Apple's iPhone 3Gs in November.

A smartphone is a mobile phone with an operating system much like that of a PC. Various applications can be installed, enabling comprehensive use of the Internet and multimedia as well as various office-related programs. This type of phone has become an essential part of daily life for many, with one group of users going so far as to say that their "day begins with a smartphone and ends with it."

The smartphones of today are differentiated from mobile phones of the past in that they are true mobile web gadgets and that users can download content and applications found in online application stores.

The wider use of smartphones is due to improvements made on the four preconditions of stimulating the mobile web market: high-speed wireless infrastructure, low pricing, appealing design and quality content.

Even when the global mobile phone markets posted negative growth in 2009, only the market of smartphones achieved substantial growth. This will continue in 2010 with market growth of 37%, so that smartphones will account for 21.1% (about 250 million smartphones) of the total mobile phone market; the share is estimated to almost double to 40% by 2013. Korea will also see smartphones increase in popularity with greater government support and a wider selection of smartphones to choose from.

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