Smartphones to Outnumber Feature Phones in U.S. by 2011

As sophisticated mobile devices such as the iPhone continue to proliferate, Nielsen estimates “smartphones” will overtake “feature phones” by the end of next year, presenting marketers with a growing opportunity in the mobile space.

Although just 21 percent of U.S. wireless subscribers were using smartphones in Q4 2009, the measurement firm predicts the rate of adoption of such devices to quicken considerably in 2010, eventually surpassing feature phones in the third quarter of 2011.

In recognition of the growing audience and potential in the mobile marketing space, major companies have been snapping up assets in the space for the past six months. Google agreed to acquire mobile ad network AdMob in November, which was followed shorty after by Apple’s acquisition of Quattro Wireless.

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