Skip to main content

Handheld Device Convergence Slow Progress

Despite the increasing overlap between mobile phone functionality and other handheld devices, people are still purchasing standalone cameras, satellite navigation, personal media and handheld gaming devices, according to the latest market study by Futuresource Consulting.

"Right now, the functionality and quality of dedicated products can far exceed that of multi-function gadgets," says David Luu, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource.

Features like optical zoom and image stabilization in cameras or embedded maps in personal navigation devices are seen as key value-add differentiators, and still drive consumers to make that purchase. However, it won't be long before the continued rise of the smartphone will have a major impact on the handheld device landscape.

Last year, mobile phone ownership exceeded four billion users -- which equates to nearly 60 percent of the world's population. And in the face of a handset market which is slowing on the whole, smartphone sales are rising fast, with our year-end forecasts for 2009 showing smartphone sales representing 17 percent of total handset shipments.

By 2013, more than one billion people will own a smartphone.

The smartphone segment consists of a group of highly disruptive converged devices, with programmable OS, continually improving functionality, wireless networking capabilities and a younger reach that will hinder the growth of dedicated devices.

Standalone products that survive will be increasingly differentiated by their form factor (a smartphone user may want to own a miniaturised media player for use when exercising, for example) and their unique attributes (such as the use of e-ink for electronic books, which can display large areas of static text while drawing very little or no power).

"The iPhone raised the bar in terms of smartphone impact, especially for media players and casual gaming," says Luu. "Continued smartphone development and the trend towards cloud computing may also start to nibble away at the laptop and netbook market, but it's unlikely we'll see any impact here for three to four years at least."

Inherent limitations for the smartphone are screen size, lack of full size keyboard, storage shortfalls and battery life, which is why consumers see computers as essential products to own today. Shorter term we're going to experience the rise of the "apps" market, especially for games and entertainment.

Popular posts from this blog

Why GenAI Investment will Double in 2024

In 2024, every business can be a technology-driven business. The quest for business technology leadership skills, and digital transformation, will gain new momentum as more organizations seek ways to drive net-new digital growth. Large enterprises will invest more than $19.4 billion worldwide in Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) solutions in 2023, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). This spending, which includes GenAI software as well as related infrastructure hardware and IT or business services, is expected to more than double in 2024 and reach $151.1 billion in 2027 -- that's with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 86.1 percent over the 2023-2027 forecast period. Artificial Intelligence Market Development Despite the recent IT headwinds in 2023, business leaders accelerated their exploration of GenAI solutions to help boost their digital business transformation. "In 2024, the shift to AI everywhere will enter a critic