Major Tech Trends of 2011 Revisited

2011 is over, so let’s look back into past and summarize what has been significant in the tech world last year and what were its major points to remember. 2011 can be described as the year of strong reappearance of communication devices called smartphones. There was time when smartphones were considered as just another chain for more sophisticated devices, but the fact is that they remained and moreover developed into real smart phones. And the tendency is that the idea of a single communication, remote-control, status update and notification device is going to be more developed in 2012. Smartphone users turned smart as well and now do not imagine their lives without reading reviews of at least the smartphone they own.

Anyway, the year 2011 was not all about smartphones; there were other interesting tendencies, which we will list here and describe one by one. So follow the list below and read the tech development forecast for 2012 based on what was popular in 2011.

  1. Group Buying: It is clear now that Chinese products, Chinese food and the Chinese market are not the only things about China. Now the “Chinese thinking” also gets popular, and the proof for this is Group Buying, which is a process of buying discounted products and services if you can collect enough people with you to buy it at the same time. Naturally, this originated in China, where finding enough people to buy anything would not pose a problem, and now with the financial crisis and further web development, it has become very popular. What you have to do is to subscribe in one of the platforms available for your area (Groupon, Livingsocial), make the deal, print the coupon attesting your deal and go for the product.

  1. Geolocation Applications: In 2011, smartphone users decided that it is very important for them to know where they and their friends are located at some particular moment. For that reason Geolocation applications and corresponding web platform became available and widespread. Foursquare in particular is very popular now, registering 1000 percent growth in 2009-2011. Google and Facebook also do not stay behind and develop their respective apps and platforms.

  1. Tablets: Tablets now are an indispensable part of our life. In the second quarter alone, 18.7 million tablets were shipped worldwide. It is three times more than the sale for the same period in 2010. Apple’s iPad is definitely the leading device in this area, with occupying 65 percent of market share in 2011. The prices seem to be on the down side, with Amazon Kindle Fire being now sold for just $199 and it is generally expected that the tablet prices this year can go down in half due to competition and accessibility of the tablets for more and more people. The price will play the main role in this area, because even now we can find some devices that don’t yield to tablets, but they can’t be called smartphones, too. Similar handsets can be found among Samsung phones (for example, the Samsung Galaxy Note), though other phone makers try not to be left behind.

  1. Cloud-based productivity apps: With the more emphasis on team work productivity worldwide, apps and platforms like Google Docs, iCloud, DropBox became an important tool for collaborative operation and sharing. The independent technology and market research company Forrester Research estimated that in 2020 the cloud app market worldwide will grow from $41 million to $241 million.

  1. Online video for company stuff: Watching online videos on YouTube or vimeo is no news, but in 2011, organizations rediscovered its value for reaching their strategic goals. 83 percent of American executives said they are watching more video now that they did the year before. meanwhile predicts that in 2013 from all content the employees would have to consume, 25 percent will fall to the share of online videos.

  1. Q&A Online: From modest informational functions, Questions and Answers became independent strong force and brand on their own. Such community oriented and organized platforms as Quora, StackExchange and ChaCha are among the most popular. The statistics for Quora alone speak loudly as the number the platform’s subscribers from 1470 in 2010 grew to 547.777 in 2011, which makes a 37.000 percent growth.

  1. Crowdfunding: If there is a group buying, so there is a group funding, or crowd funding, which is a platform enabling users to unite and pool their money for funding this or that idea or project. The number of crowdfunding websites worldwide increased by 63 percent from 2010 to 2011. Among the most popular platforms are Kickstarter, Profounder, Indiegogo. Kickstarter alone has raised about 85.000 USD for more than 13.000 projects.

  1. Mobile photo-sharing: With the appearance of more sophisticated and quality smartphone cameras, a tendency naturally grew to share and boast of them. Manufactures and marketers have used this trend to develop apps and platforms for users to satisfy their photographic desires. iPhone’s Instagram, for example, currently has 15 million users, while it took only eight weeks to develop the app itself.

So these were the eight major achievements of 2011 in the mobile and technological field. What estimates can we make for this year taking into consideration the mentioned trends?

  1. Unprecedented increase of data availability: According to IBM, 90 percent of current data worldwide was created during the last two years. And the International Data Corporation found that the amount of data worldwide has a tendency of growing in double every year now.

  1. Internet TV: It is becoming more and more accessible now as the problems with the slow Internet and low resolution are being solved. It can really damage the business of the ordinary TV, as watching online movies, sport or cartoons on the computer screen gets more popular.

  1. Mobile commerce: As mentioned above, the tendency of having all-in-one smartphone becomes prevalent. Expect to regulate your bank account from your smartphone in the nearest future, as well as adjust your fridge temperature, feed your pet, ask who is waiting at the door, and learn where to invest best and where effectively to spend your free time and much more.

And this is definitely not all, for the world getting more and more interconnected, the tech discoveries and trends are welcomed worldwide to enrich and boost our lives and experience.

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