The cellular handset has been going through a complete evolution in the last few years, keeping handset chipmakers on their toes while they attempt to forecast what will be the next big thing. When a technology does take the fancy of consumers and carriers, history shows us that the content of a handset can change quickly. For example, cameras in phones went from zero to over 150 mln in just two years. Other technologies can, and will, move just as fast.
The number of application processors used in handsets is expected to increase dramatically, from 18.725 mln this year to 92.070 mln in 2008. The MPEG-4 chip market for handsets is ripe for growth. With not only video and camera functionality driving demand, but, eventually, Direct Broadcast (DB) services will start to appear in handsets as well, MPEG-4 chips fill the need for those mid-tier handsets supporting these services. By 2008, roughly 56% of all handsets shipped will have Bluetooth capability.