Half a billion smartphones in 2011?

2011 may be the year smartphones overtake personal computers in accessing the web.

Photo illustration / Business Wire / File
If current trends hold up, by 2011, more users will access the Internet via smartphone – like Android, iPhone (shown), and BlackBerry – than with a computer browser.

Let's talk about 2011 tech trends for a moment. A Perfect Storm is brewing to make 2011 the year that smartphones overtake traditional computers as the primary access point to the internet.

I've already made clear my position that a new standard (and hence a new investment meme) comprised of Google's Android operating system and Qualcomm's chipsets is taking over the mobile web - we're calling it Quadroid.

And now we get a bit more color from Seth Weintraub, who grabs some intel from around the wireless and web industries to give us a sweeping preview of what we can expect in the coming year...

From Fortune:

In 2011, we might see half a billion phones sold worldwide. Smartphones will likely blow by traditional computers next year as the way most of the world gains access to the Internet.

Two major factors will drive this, in tandem: Wireless infrastructure is getting better every day, and hardware is getting cheaper. Cheaper hardware will eliminate the need for subsidies and therefore will improve competition between carriers, and spur them to improve their networks. Google (GOOG) Android head Andy Rubin calls this a 'perfect storm' for smartphone adoption.

Guys, hardware prices are coming down - and so will data plan prices. Not only that, WIFI may become so ubiquitous that some consumers will drop data plans entirely. And should Skype Mobile truly catch on, forgetaboutit.

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