New Smartphones this Christmas Give iPhone Competition

Cheryl Phillips's picture

This Christmas it won't be just the iPhone getting on holiday wish lists. There's some new competition for Apple's iPhone with more than a dozen touch screen smartphones out there for consumers who must have a touch screen device that does more than make a phone call.

Despite poor economic times, the smart phone market is booming. Consumer buying plans are near record levels and smartphones are flying off store shelves.

A survey of 4,255 consumers done on reveals that strong growth continues in the smart phone market, with 39% of respondents now reporting they own a smart phone – up two points since June and nearly double the level of two years ago.

Latest entries in smartphone market

Here are several smartphones that will be available to holiday shoppers for the 2009 Christmas season.

Motorola Driod: The Motorola Droid is about $200 and has an average plan cost of $2839 over two years. Verizon is hoping that the Droid will help recoup some of its losses they felt from AT&T's iPhone. Recent reviews call the Driod an iPhone killer.

Apple iPhone 3GS: Two and one-half years after the launch of the iPhone, it's still going strong with 74% of its users satisfied. The Apple iPhone 3GS is $200 for the 8GB model, with an average plan cost of over two years of $2839. iPhones still remain a favorite of many, despite other smartphones being developed to compete. A low priced 3G model may get in more stockings this year with a price of $99.

Palm Pixi/Pre: Sprint is the carrier for the low priced Palm Pixi ($99) and the Pre ($150) and that is causing unstable sales for the two latest Palm models. Customer satisfaction with Sprint is often weak so the higher priced Palm Pre has lost a lot of its initial excitement. The Palm Pixi was geared towards women and smartphone newbies and fairly well due to its $99 price tag.

Motorola Cliq: The $200 T-Mobile Motorola Cliq has been touted as the smartphone with social skills. Using Motoblur, the Cliq integrates itself with a user's social network. It's geared towards teens who text and socialize but the price tag is a bit steep.

HTC Hero: This is the third Android device to his the smartphone market and it was initially reviewed as a great, solid Android phone. That was short lived when the Driod arrived. It still may do well for the holiday season with a $180 price tag, although there's more competition coming: the Android based Samsung Moment.

Blackberry Storm2: This is the follow-up to last year's often problematic Blackberry Storm. The $180 Verizon phone is drawing some good reviews despite the Android competition. Decent holiday sales are expected but nothing earth shattering. Consumers want more than email access now and there needs to be more than just an improved touch screen on the Blackberry Storm2 to make it a big seller.

Smartphones will be under many Christmas trees this year and it will be interesting to see how the new entries hold up against the much-loved Apple iPhone.

Cheryl Phillips

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