The number of smartphones in use throughout the world will increase by an average of 33 percent each year through 2012, and businesses stand to benefit from that growth in a number of ways, according to research from In-Stat.\n Related Stories\n \n CIOs Struggle With Mobile Device Management, Look to Operators for Help\n \n The Business-Savvy Smartphone Review\n \n Consumer Apps on Business Smartphones: Problems Waiting to Happen?\n \n Nokia Makes the Ferrari of Phones...Literally\n The market research firm predicts such strong growth based on a number of factors. First, In-Stat says many smartphone users are just beginning to understand the potential value of their devices, and as they start to realize the possible productivity gains, they're downloading more and more applications and spending longer amounts or time using their phones. Organizations are also realizing the value of issuing corporate-owned smartphones to employees, and they're modifying related policies, according to the research. For instance, In-Stat says organizations that had mobile phone bill reimbursement arraignments with employees in which staffers paid their own monthly bills, are now changing those policies so that companies are billed directly and the devices are corporate-owned. Businesses are also purchasing more phones for employees because they're seeing such devices increase productivity, according to In-Stat. And, enterprises are being pursued more actively by wireless carriers as competition in the cellular space increases, and they're selling more devices to a larger base of users. The price of smartphones is also dropping, making it possible for consumers to obtain such devices for a reasonable price, as well as for businesses to purchase more of them for staffers, In-Stat says. (Smartphones such as Samsung's BlackJack and Research In Motion's popular BlackBerry Curve can be bought for less than $100 online, and in some cases these smartphones can be obtained for free after rebates or other promotions.) Among In-Stat's additional predictions and findings:\n\n\nEvery existing smartphone operating system (OS) will see double digit growth over the next five years, with the exception of Palm's OS. \n\nSmartphone users are purchasing more external applications than in the past. \n\nSmartphone users who travel employ their devices for twice as long as users who stay put. \n\nSmartphone market growth will largely be a product of users employing phones in place of laptops. Additional information on In-Stat and its "Smartphones 2007: The ARPU Generation Machine" research can be found on the company's website.