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Organisation predicts big year for mobile phone advancements in 2012
(16/02/2011 15:46:52)

More people may be tempted to sell mobile phones in 2012 if predictions made by a technological research firm prove to be correct.

Gartner has highlighted ten key advancements to look out for next year, as more mobile phone manufacturers look to enhance their range of handsets.

Bosses at the company believe technology that enables faster social networking will continue to broaden the appeal of modern smartphones.

This could lead to more people recycling mobile phones as a means of making some quick cash to put towards an upgraded design.

According to Gartner, social networking is the fastest-growing application used by phone owners, as sites such as Twitter and Facebook go from strength to strength.

Location-based apps are also starting to gather momentum and bosses have suggested that these will take on greater sophistication in 2012.

Gartner research director Sandy Shen believes that mobile phone apps alone will make $15.9 billion (£9.93 billion) next year.

"Mobile applications will be a highly competitive marketplace that attracts the interest of many stakeholders," she said.

"Increasingly, mobile applications will define the user experience on high-end devices and device vendors that proactively integrate innovative apps and technologies at the platform layer will have the competitive edge."

It is also thought that applications aimed at enhancing mobile phone users' retail experiences will become more widely used.

By scanning a barcode or taking a photograph of a product, a smartphone user could be able to add items to a virtual shopping trolley.

The emergence of near field communication (NFC) technology is also expected to develop in 2012.

This has the potential to allow mobile phone users to utilise their handsets to pay for items in shops, although Gartner has suggested this may not become an everyday occurrence until 2015.

A number of manufacturers such as Research In Motion have already added NFC capabilities to some of their designs set for release this year.

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