2011 Could Be The Year The Smartphone Explodes

I was having some breakfast this morning at the Coffee Shop (that’s the name) on Coronado. I can roll out of bed into the place. It’s full of locals, navy kids and in the summer, tourists.

The island is not a technology haven. Today I was sitting at the counter next to a grump using a 1999 Palm handheld with the attachable stik.

He was looking at my Droid and was unimpressed and rather grumpy. He did not want to be sold. If I had even opened my mouth about his Palm, he might have gutted me.

This guy won’t switch until the smartphone is free.

Based on the meme going on today, 2011 will be that year. Seth at Fortune says this will be the year the Android explodes. Fred Wilson has a post on theSmartphone explosion saying entrepreneurs and VC’s need to get in front of it and Robert Scoble agrees on the droid, but hates the idea of Android being it.

All good reads.

The reason that the stock markets can be so fun and enlightening is how early these trends appear if you follow price leaders.

Apple, Skyworks $SWKS, Broadcom $BRCM, $MIPS, $ATML, $TQNT and a slew of other wireless network and semiconductor stocks have been rocking for a while, but in hyper vertical mode since September 1 and on the Stocktwits50 for most of that time. The correlates with what you are starting to hear now from more mainstream press and Venture Capitalists looking to catch the next big leg of smartphone growth.

That does not make 2011 a layup for these stocks because the growth could be priced in. But, if you watch the price action on the weekly leaders, the new smartphone players will emerge as they have always done.

Take a look at the charts of $aapl and $msft for the last 10 years in this great post from Tom Brakke (a new must read). As he notes, as crazy as the Apple outperformance looks since 2001, the 1990’s outperformance by Microsoft was BIGGER. How can you not be excited for the smartphone winners over the next 5-10 years as we enter 2011?

Don’t make it harder than it is.

This post originally appeared on Howard Lindzon’s blog.

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