Supersaturated Mobile Markets Ready to Cool, Researcher

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Supersaturated mobile markets may be ready for some cooling, according to research group iSuppli.

Mobile subscriber growth rates topped 25 percent for the last three years, and that breakneck pace is simply unsustainable according to the recent finding.  The group called for a more modest growth level of 12.8 percent in the current year, and gains of 9.6 percent in 2008, 7 percent in 2009, and 5.7 percent in 2010.  According to the iSuppli figures, North America scored a penetration level of 93.2 percent in 2006, while South Korea and Japan pulled levels of 83.2 percent and 74.2 percent, respectively.  Other estimates peg the Asian markets with far greater levels, even surpassing 100 percent, though the underlying conclusion is largely the same.

The iSuppli report appears bearish, though mobile device and subscriber saturation is just one part of the game.  Mobile entertainment hawks are pushing a number of concepts, and aiming to increase the number of existing mobile subscribers that dabble in non-voice options.  And by 2010, the market formusic, video and gaming c ontent will expand to nearly $36 billion, up from $7.7 billion in 2005, according to iSuppli.  But the road to those billions, in music and other arenas, will be rocky indeed.  “However, even new mobile content services are in a constant state of flux, with ringtones already having peaked, ringback tones gaining momentum, and mobile TV services just debuting worldwide,” the research report asserts.

Report by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.