Tables, smartphones, PCs
It was once difficult to imagine a world where PCs were not the dominant tool of technology. But the staggering and rapid rise of mobile computing has shone limelights brighter than ever on newer, more portable devices.
Deloitte Canada says this trend will solidify itself it 2011, a year where Canadians will buy more smartphones and tablets than personal computers for the first time, a new trend.
The research, as outlined in Deloitte Canada's annual report on where technology is headed, predicts that 425 million smartphones and tablets are going to be sold this year, versus 400 million personal computers. Quoth the Globe and Mail:
“For the first time, we're buying more new computing devices that aren't traditional PCs,” said Duncan Stewart, director of research and co-author of 2011's trends.
The personal computer isn't “dead” and there will always be a time and a place for one, but it has changed its shape and form, Stewart said.
Television: the "Super Media"
Interestingly, traditional television will remain strong through 2011, although it seemed at risk of faltering not long ago. But with the advent of new ways to access content such as Netflix, Apple TV, and Google TV, as well as newer technologies like 3D TV and more affordable, higher quality HDTVs, this form os media is still very much alive. TO attach numbers to this, Deloitte's report predicts that viewers around the world will watch 140 billion more hours of television than last year. As well, worldwide TV advertising will increase by $10 billion. Furthermore, the global audience will grow by 40 million to 3.7 billion viewers, said the report. Quoth the Globe:
Traditional TV will still be a king maker, defying predictions of obsolescence due to new technologies, Stewart said from Toronto.
Television will strengthen its status in 2011 as the current “super media,” he said.
TV shows also will be the most common conversation topic around the world and the subject of more than a billion Twitter tweets, the report on technology, media and telecommunications said.
Wi-Fi and Retail
A coffee shop like Starbucks is expected to have its own Wi-Fi network. People like to do some work on their laptop while they sip their Grande Americano. It's the classic place to access the web from a mobile device outside of one's house or work office. That's not new, but what is new is that retailer stores will soon be expected by consumers to have their own Wi-Fi networks, primarily so that shoppers can compare products online with competitors. It sounds crazy to let potential customers have a super fast and easy way to see how your product stacks up against its enemies, but there is reasoning:
Customers are already doing comparison shopping and retailers know this, Stewart said.
“If you don't let them do it in your stores, they're going to come to your store, look at your stuff, maybe take a picture of it and then leave your store. Never encourage people to leave your store.”
Free WiFi networks in retail stores are set to take off with 25 per cent of North American big box stores and major retailers to offer it to shoppers, the study also predicted.
Citing upscale Nordstrom department store in the U.S. and San's Club discount warehouse (owned by Walmart) as examples of free Wi-Fi networks, the advantage is that retailers then have the opportunity to match prices and offer coupons to customers.
The report suggests that there is apt to be more than one billion unique members this year signing up for social media accounts across myriad platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and that these networks will sell more than two trillion advertisements. Even so, ad revenues from these social networks will be clock in at $5 billion, which is not even one percent of worldwide advertising spending. This is largely because ad rates will remain low compared with other online advertising and traditional.