Consumer and market reasearch group NPD Group reports that sales of smartphones (Blackberries, Treos and Motorola's Q, to name a few) jumped 230 percent in October 2006, up from 216,000 units in January to nearly 715,000 units. Faster networks, lower prices, more choices and better capabilities - such as handling audio and video applications - all account for the spike in sales.
While the online mobile market is still experiencing growing pains and has not seen widespread adoption by users, there is little doubt that it's coming. That alone is a good reason to start optimizing your site or creating alternate pages for mobile visitors.
The smartphone customer presents another good reason - they have a good amount of disposable income. According to NPD, smartphone users spent an average of $6.31 per month for wireless data in the third quarter, compared to $0.89 for all types of mobile users. Those wireless data packages aren't cheap. Add in that smartphone users are tech-savvy, Web-savvy and comfortable with online transactions and shopping, and you have a pretty good reason to start optimizing for the mobile audience.