I realize I’m a little biased in the world of smartphones. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a proud iPhone user. I love the apps, the ease of use, the large screen and the "bells and whistles."

In real estate, having a smartphone is not just an option but a necessity. Everyone wants a response right now, not later today.

So the question remains, can the iPhone still hold its lead in 2010 as the top smartphone in the United States?

According to Nielsen …

According to Nielsen ratings, the iPhone is still the most popular smartphone, followed by the BlackBerry 8300 series, but despite all the new smartphones flooding the market, Motorola’s trusty Razr (yep, the RAZR!) flip-phone was the third most-popular phone of the year.

What about Android?

ComScore.com, a research and metrics company, announced a few days ago the release of its latest report on the mobile market, "Android: Crashing the Smartphone Party." The report provided an overview of the current U.S. mobile environment and offered an in-depth look at the Android operating system. Among the report’s findings: consumer awareness of Google’s Android is growing rapidly, due in large part to the Verizon Droid ad campaign.

Here comes Google!

Coming to the smartphone party (possibly) next month is Google’s Nexus One. Nexus One puts Google in business against other providers of Android-based phones. Google is the major force behind Android. Will this create a backlash against the company, or did other providers get into the Android game aware that Google eventually would make this move?

A major shift happened …

A new survey of smartphone users by PC World and Macworld found that 85 percent of smartphone owners were extremely or very satisfied with their handsets, and the same percentage said they rely heavily on them. On a typical day, people use their phones two-thirds of the time for personal use and the balance for business. This highlights the HUGE shift with smartphones from primarily corporate use to a wider consumer customer base, courtesy of the iPhone.

So what is it about the iPhone?

I think one of the biggest reasons consumers, especially real estate professionals, love the iPhone is because of how easily it works — not to mention Apple’s incredible branding campaign. …CONTINUED

Did you know?

Did you know, Apple didn’t even launch the iTunes App Store until a year after the first iPhone became available? More than two billion apps have been sold as of late September 2009. When the iPhone was first launched in June 2007, Steve Jobs tried to sell developers on just making Web apps. When Web-based apps couldn’t match the performance or capabilities of native apps, developers asked for more. Apple announced that it was changing course in October, but didn’t launch the App Store until July 2008 — just as Apple released the second-generation iPhone hardware.

So, in the spirit of the holidays, and because I do love the iPhone, I wanted to share several FREE new iPhone apps:

1. Ribbit Mobile
This app has already gotten quite a bit of buzz. You have to sign up and request to be invited to their beta trial. Ribbit Mobile will read your voicemail and then text or e-mail it to you. It will save your messages forever. You can also dictate memos on your phone and answer calls on any phone.

2. CallRec.me
Pretty cool app especially for real estate agents — record your phone calls and voice notes with the push of a button. I could see this being especially helpful for agents to keep track of conversation records.

3. HWA Inc. — Home Warranty of America
Videos, sales tools, what’s news, and much more. Great app for title/escrow officers, mortgage lenders, real estate attorneys and agents. I’d love a Realtor’s first-hand experience using this app.

4. IParked
OK, this app was made for me — it helps you remember where you parked your car! If you dare to go shopping in the next couple of days, I recommend using this app!

5. San Francisco Tweets
Search by categories or by city districts. I like that it is a live Tweet stream so you could theoretically be walking down the street toward a restaurant and see if there is anyone inside the restaurant Tweeting about the food, service, etc.

6. New York App
Look up shows, events, places to eat, bars, clubs, tourist attractions, Yelp reviews and much more. Cool factor: There are links to some of the best lifestyle blogs in the area. Not bad! Can’t wait to check this one out in person next month.

7. ConnectNYC
This app is specifically designed for Inman News’ Real Estate Connect NYC (#ICNY) conference, which runs from Jan. 13-15, 2010, and includes live Twitter feeds, the conference schedule, a list of sessions, exhibitor and sponsor booth info, and New York City hot spot info.

So how do you feel about this smartphone debate? Are you loyal to your iPhone, Blackberry, Android or Razr? Are you holding out for something else?

Click here to view the original blog post.

Katie Lance is marketing manager for Inman News, and the Future of Real Estate Marketing is a part of Inman News.


What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor. To contact the writer, click the byline at the top of the story.

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