With the next-generation iPhone expected to be unveiled today, market observers say the release marks the beginning of an entrenched battle within the mobile market between the smartphone and traditional handset makers.
All eyes will be on AppleInc. chief executive Steve Jobs, as he is widely expected to unveil the new 3G iPhone -- cleverly dubbed the iPhone 2.0 by bloggers --at a developer conference.
But the upgrade of the popular touchscreen device will only further demand for not just the iPhone, but all smartphone devices, including Research In Motion Ltd.' s BlackBerry.
"The high-end smartphone market is seeing tremendous pressure. The iPhone is just going to accelerate that," said Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek.
With smartphone sales expected to grow fivefold by 2010 to about 500 million units, and the technology powering the devices evolving at a rapid pace, handset makers such as Motorola and Nokia stand to be the mobile world's "big losers," Mr. Misek added.