Portable electronics on upward curve

Boom time for portable electronics

Uptake of portable electronics is expected to accelerate over the coming years, potentially forcing web designers to create pages with different screens in mind.

Financial services firm Morgan Stanley has predicted that 205 million 3G-enabled smartphones will ship in 2010, up from 131 million last year, reports eMarketer. It's thought the imminent arrival of the Nexus One and a new version of the iPhone could encourage many customers to make the switch. And the company has forecast that a total of 656 million smartphones will be sold in 2013.

Of course, smartphone screens are much smaller and shaped differently to traditional computers. The Nexus One has a 3.7-inch display with a 480 x 800 resolution, while the iPhone 3GS screen measures 3.5 inches with 320 x 480 pixels. If smartphone growth continues as forecast, designers may need to reduce the amount of content per page and even lay out pages vertically rather than horizontally.

Notebooks and tablets on the rise

Morgan Stanley has also tipped notebook purchases to hit 152 million in 2010, up from 131 million last year. By 2013, demand could rise to 247 million units. And internet tablets will become an increasingly common sight across the country. Having notched up 2 million shipments in 2009, tablets will hit the 8 million mark in 2010 and 49 million in 2013. The eagerly anticipated Apple iTablet is expected to come in two screen sizes at launch