Cellphone Boom-Times are Over

It was a good run, guys, but the days of huge phone sales are over. Go ahead, Motorola. Pack up those plans for the Moto WAFR and the WLHNG. Nokia: scrap the 81294 with WiFi, a sense of self, and a drink dispenser. Folks just want a damn phone, not a mini triage unit.

This news comes to us from Informa Telecoms and Media, a polling firm that believes that it will be harder and harder to convince people with a 1.3-megapixel cameraphone to upgrade to a smartphone with an 8-megapixel camera and JustForHer vibrate feature.

Motorola, which kick-started the trend towards more fashionable handsets, has now sold 50 million Razr phones since the handset was launched in 2004 – more than the number of iPods shipped during the same period.

Style will not be everything though. The report finds that consumers will increasingly expect functionality to walk hand-in-hand with good looks.

Cameras will continue to be one of the key features of phones and more than half of all mobile handsets will have integrated cameras from 2007.

Manufacturers are beginning to realise that there is more to a camera phone than megapixels.

I tend to agree with these findings, especially considering we’re moving away from the carrier-subsidized model on higher end phones. Clearly, the real draw will be faster Internet and streaming, and that has yet to impress me in any way. If T-Mo can excite the world – and do so much – with the Sidekick 3, which is essentially running at dial-up speeds, then the world is clearly not ready for 3G.

Mobile phone sales start to slow [BBC]