We have always said that one of key factors required for the mobile phone internet usage to really take off is the penetration of smart phones. Smart phones are pretty much mini computers with phone functionality and are clever enough to be able to run email, applications and have a decent memory capacity.

We predict that mobile internet usage will get a similar big bang experience to the one that home broadband brought to the fixed line internet around 2002/2003 when smart phone take up hits a third of all handsets.

So the good news for the Phonenet is that Infroma Telecoms and Media predicts that smart phones are going to increase by 35.3% in 2009 whereas all phone sales will fall 10.1% year on year. In addition, over the next four years the number of smart phones in the UK will increase from 13.5% of all handsets to a whopping 38% by 2013. This is backed up by some recently published Jupiter research that states that 23% of all new handsets purchased in 2013 will be smart phones.

There is a definite demand for the functionality and storage capacity of the smart phone and there will be an increased need for developers, operators and consumer businesses to keep bringing entertaining, useful and life enhancing applications to the mobile phone market.

Roll on 2013, it’ll be here before we know it.