The mobile display industry is getting a boost from multimedia enabled cell phones, with shipments expected to grow 17 percent in 2006.

Newer phones with ever expanding features are attracting more customers market research firm iSuppli stated on Wednesday, in turn driving the mobile-display market along with it.

The convergence of voice, data, multimedia and personal-information-management capabilities is expanding in mobile phones and the handset industry is readying itself to offer products with these visually intensive features, said Vinita Jakhanwal, principal analyst for mobile displays at iSuppli. This, in turn, is driving the demand for advanced mobile displays from OEMs that want to offer these capabilities.

Because of this, the firm believes that growth of mobile display units will reach 1.2 billion units in 2006, nearly 20 percent growth over the previous year.

The trend should hold into the future, the firm said, delivering a forecast of 1.3 billion units for 2007.