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3/7/2008
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Handango: Fun Trumps Work On Smartphones

Entertainment apps were more widely downloaded in 2007 than business tools on smartphones, the content provider reports.

Uptake of entertainment applications surpassed business packages on smartphones for the first time in 2007, according to sales information released Thursday by leading content provider Handango.

The latest Handango "Yardstick" measurements signal a shift in how consumers are using their smartphones, long considered more of a business productivity tool because of their e-mail and Web browsing functions, the vendor said. In the previous year's Yardstick results, entertainment apps were the third most commonly used features of smartphones, Handango added.

Yardstick data is culled from content purchases on a quarterly and annual basis from Handango.com, partner storefronts, carriers, OEMs, operating system partners, and application developers that use the Handango Commerce Engine.

Handango's numbers track closely with recent research from the Consumer Electronics Association. The trade group predicted growth for smartphones -- which now owned by only about 11% of adult cell phone owners -- driven largely by demand for music, video, and Internet access services.

Handango said entertainment content accounted for 17%, trailed closely by business and professional content at 16%, down from its 2006 high of 18%. The other leading two categories in 2007 were productivity apps like address books and calendaring, and games for the handhelds.

Handango also took market measurements of device types, noting that more than 11,000 new applications were added for the BlackBerry, a 135% increase over 2006.

"The BlackBerry Pearl and Motorola Q were among the top devices for content downloads in 2007, both by revenue and number of units sold," Handango said in a statement.

Handango said its top three best-selling apps for BlackBerry were Ringtone Megaplex (ring tone library), Sudoku, and Colour Your Trackball (trackball customizer).

The top three Symbian apps were SBSH Papyrus (time manager), Handy Calendar for S60, and LCG Jukebox.

Palm's top three apps were PocketMirror Standard Edition (Outlook synchronization), Agendus Professional Edition (personal information manager), and SplashID (security).

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