Global Shipments of Smart Connected Devices to Surpass 1.7 billion Units by 2014

smart-devicesThe latest Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker by IDC has revealed that global shipments of smart connected devices (PCs, tablets, and smartphones) are expected to surpass 1.7 billion units by 2014 with roughly 1 billion units delivered to emerging markets. Within the emerging markets, the BRIC countries — China, India, Brazil, and Russia — are expected to generate shipments of 662 million units with a shipment value of more than $206 billion. More than 650 million units are forecast to be shipped to developed markets, with the United States, UK, and Japan capturing more than 400 million units with a shipment value of $204 billion.

With the BRIC countries expected to surpass the total shipments to developed markets by 2014, it is clear that demand for smart connected devices is quickly shifting from developed to emerging markets. The emerging markets are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% over the 2012-2017 forecast period, compared to the 7% CAGR expected in developed markets.

According to the report, in terms of product categories, the smart connected device market will be largely driven by the growing demand for smartphones and tablets in both emerging and developed markets. Of the 1.7 billion units forecast to be shipped in 2014, more than 1.4 billion units are expected to be smartphones and tablets, representing more than $500 billion in value. PCs, on the other hand, will be a comparatively small market with just over 300 million units shipped and a shipment value of less than $200 billion.

The report found that with the rise in global smartphone and tablet shipments, the average selling price (ASP) of these mobile computing devices is steadily decreasing. Tablet ASPs plummeted -19% year over year in 2012 to $426, down from $525 in 2011. Smartphone ASPs fell -8.2% year over year to $407 in 2012, down from $443 in 2011. This pattern of decreasing price points is most prominent in emerging countries where IDC expects sub-$300 smartphones and sub-$350 tablets to drive huge shipments in 2014 and beyond. In developed markets, smartphones and tablets will continue to generate higher ASPs of $490 and $370, respectively, in 2014.

Commenting on the insights, Bob O’Donnell, Program Vice President, Clients and Displays said,”Smartphone and tablet prices are now less prohibitive to first-time buyers in emerging markets. Although the double-digit growth of smartphones and tablets in emerging countries is a mouthwatering prospect, the low selling price also means that vendors will face huge struggles to meet the demands profitably. Given the competitive price points for cheaper smartphones and tablets, this price war is a race to the bottom and it’s not at all clear that this low-end market offers sustainable profits to smartphone and tablet vendors.”

The report also revealed that another factor fueling the growth of smart connected devices in emerging markets is the upsurge in the use of different mobile applications, such as mobile messaging, gaming, social networking, and social commerce, including mobile check-in services. Growing interest from governments, especially in education projects across countries like India, Thailand, Turkey, and the UAE, has also boosted the prospects of low-cost tablets for students in these regions. Indeed, the proliferation of cheaper, yet more capable devices, along with the deployment of 3G/4G services and changing usage patterns have been pivotal in driving the overall growth of smart connected devices in emerging markets.

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Asia-Pacific Accounts for 88% of Global Wi-Fi Hotspots

internetAccording to a recent report by ABI Research, worldwide carrier Wi-Fi deployments reached a total 4.9 million hotspots in 2012. The report found that despite the successful adoption of 3G and 4G mobile data services, the number of Wi-Fi Hotspots has continued to proliferate and are anticipated to surpass 6.3 million by the end of 2013.

Wi-Fi has very much become a complement to 3G and 4G services and is now a mainstay of connectivity for the majority of smartphone, tablet, and laptop users because it is often free in many public Wi-Fi locations. This is particularly the case when a mobile user is roaming – Wi-Fi networks can help the user save a significant amount on mobile data roaming charges.

The report found that as mobility is increasingly important for users, fixed broadband operators are also building Wi-Fi hotspots in order to provide fast and reliable Internet connections when the customers are away from home. Five cable companies from the United States (Cox, Comcast, Time Warner, Optimum, and Bright House) have agreed to allow their customers to access more than 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots installed nationwide.

In addition to mobile and fixed carriers, third-party Wi-Fi network operators (such as iPass, Boingo and Tomizone) are also expanding their Wi-Fi hotspot coverage. Third-party operators install their own Wi-Fi hotspots as well as retail access to Wi-Fi hotspots managed by telecom operators. Of the total global Wi-Fi hotspots, 88% of Wi-Fi is in Asia-Pacific, followed by 8% in Europe, 3% in North America, and 1% in the other regions.

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Over 950 mn Mobile Ticketing Users By 2018 – Juniper Research

juniperAccording to a new report- Mobile Ticketing Strategies: Air, Rail, Metro, Sports & Entertainment 2013-2018, by Juniper Research, over 950mn mobile phone users worldwide are expected to use their handsets for mobile ticketing by 2018, up from 458mn this year. Growth is expected to be driven primarily within key transport verticals, although latterly significant uptake is anticipated across sectors such as live entertainment events and cinema ticketing.

The report found that the airline industry was a particularly strong proponent of mobile ticketing, with adoption of mobile boarding passes rising sharply since the worldwide implementation of BCBPs (Barcoded Boarding Passes) in 2010.

The report revealed that while mobile has for some years been a key ticketing delivery channel across Scandinavian metros, deployments were increasing both elsewhere in Europe and in the US and were achieving strong levels of adoption. At Boston’s MBTA, which introduced mobile ticketing in late-2012, mobile accounted for 10% of ticket sales within seven weeks of launch.

The report also noted that in the short term, the outlook for NFC ticketing was less optimistic, with a lack of implementation standards a key barrier to interoperability.  Furthermore, transaction speed targets have yet to be achieved, providing a further obstacle to widespread deployments and increasing the probability that contactless cards, rather than NFC handsets, will be the primary delivery mechanism.

Commenting on the insghts, report author Dr Windsor Holden said, “We had already scaled back our forecasts for NFC Ticketing deployments in the wake of Apple’s decision not to include an NFC chipset in the iPhone 5. Given the outstanding technical issues and the continuing failure of NFC stakeholders to communicate the value proposition to transport operators, further downward revisions were required; we do not envisage anything other than ad hoc deployments in the immediate future.”

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Worldwide Smartphone Shipments To Reach 958.8 Million Units In 2013

smartphoneThe latest Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report by IDC has revealed that smartphone shipments are expected to grow 32.7% year over year in 2013 reaching 958.8 million units, up from 722.5 million units last year. 2013 will mark the first year that smartphone shipments surpass those of feature phones, with smartphones expected to account for 52.2% of all mobile phone shipments worldwide. IDC expects this trend to continue for years to come as demand for mobile data and handheld computing spreads across both developed and emerging markets. Emerging markets will account for 64.8% of all smartphones shipped during 2013, which is up from 43.1% in 2010.

Commenting on the insights, Ramon Llamas, Research Manager for IDC’s Mobile Phones program said,”2013 will mark a watershed year for smartphones. If you look at the number of vendors who support both feature phones and smartphones, many of them have not only successfully transitioned their product portfolios to highlight smartphones, but smartphones have become their primary value proposition going forward. In some cases, smartphones have accounted for well over 50% of their quarterly shipment volume. Looking ahead, we expect the gulf between smartphones and features phones to grow ever wider.”

The report found that with the rise in global smartphone shipments, demand has quickly spread from developed markets to emerging markets. As a result, smartphone average selling prices (ASPs) have declined to $372 in 2013, down from $407 in 2012 and $443 in 2011. As this trend continues, smartphone ASPs are expected to drop as low as $309 by 2017 with emerging market demand the main catalyst in this change. Computing at such low end-user cost has posed many challenges to handset OEMs and component suppliers.

“At a time when the global smartphone market is growing at 33% year over year, average selling prices have plummeted, dropping -8% in 2012 with another -9% expected this year,” said Ryan Reith, Program Manager for IDC’s Mobility Trackers. “Smartphones have become increasingly common in emerging markets and it is often the first affordable means of computing for these markets. These are markets where average personal income is far less than in developed markets, and therefore vendors have been forced to create smartphone computing experiences for the low end of the market.”

The IDC report revealed that by continuing to produce 3G smartphones alongside faster 4G smartphones, vendors have managed to keep costs down. Using older radio components has proven to be an easy cost-cutting measure for handset OEMs in the smartphone space. 3G-enabled smartphones will account for 70.9% of all smartphones shipped in 2013, and 50.1% of smartphones shipped in 2017.

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Worldwide Mobile Payment Transaction Values To Reach $235.4 billion in 2013

gartnerAccording to a recent report by Gartner, worldwide mobile payment transaction values will reach $235.4 billion in 2013, a 44 percent increase from 2012 values of $163.1 billion. The number of mobile payment users worldwide will reach 245.2 million in 2013, up from 200.8 million in 2012.

Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner said,”We expect global mobile transaction volume and value to average 35 percent annual growth between 2012 and 2017, and we are forecasting a market worth $721 billion with more than 450 million users by 2017.”

The report found that Near Field Communications’ (NFC’s) transaction value has been reduced by more 40 percent throughout the forecast period due to disappointing adoption of NFC technology in all markets in 2012 and the fact that some high-profile services, such as Google Wallet and Isis, are struggling to gain traction. Gartner forecasts that NFC will account for only about 2 percent of total transaction value in 2013 and 5 percent of the total transaction value in 2017, although growth is expected to increase somewhat from 2016 when the penetration of NFC mobile phones and contactless readers increases.

As per the report money transfers and merchandise purchases will account for about 71 percent and 21 percent of total transaction value in 2013, respectively, making them by far the largest contributors. People are spending less via mobile devices than via online e-commerce services and at retail outlets. Merchandise purchases account for about 23 percent of the total value forecast for 2017.

The report found that money transfer value continues to increase because users are transacting much more frequently (although at lower values) due to the wider availability of services and to transaction costs that are lower than those of traditional bank services. This makes money transfer a leading use case, one that Gartner forecasts to account for almost 69 percent of the total value in 2017.

Bill payment value is expected to grow 44 percent in 2013 and have consistent growth through the forecast period. This is due to higher value per transaction figures as more consumers in developed markets perform bill payments via mobile banking services along with consumers in emerging markets who are transacting at higher values originally forecast. Bill payments will account for about 5 percent of the total value forecast for 2017.

According to the report the transaction value in Asia/Pacific’s transaction is expected to grow 38 percent in 2013 to reach $74 billion. Deployments in developed markets such as South Korea and Singapore and in developing markets such as India are expected drive healthy growth in this region. As a result, in 2016, Asia/Pacific will overtake Africa to become the largest region by transaction value, reaching $165 billion. Africa’s transaction value is forecast to reach $160 billion in 2016. While Africa will still experience strong growth through the forecast period, companies are still searching for the most suitable business model for mobile money in their local markets.

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By 2017, India To Have 348 Million Internet Users

internetAccording to a recent Visuals Networking Index (VNI) forecast (2012-17) by Cisco, Internet traffic in India will reach 2.5 exabytes per month in 2017, up from 393 petabytes per month in 2012. As per the forecast, India will have around 348 million Internet users in 2017, up from 138 million in 2012.

The report found that by 2017, internet users will swell to 3.6 billion globally, which will be more than 48 per cent of the world’s projected population of 7.6 billion. In 2012, worldwide Internet users stood at 2.3 billion against a population of 7.2 billion.

Commenting on the insights Robert Pepper, Cisco VP (Global Technology Policy) said,”The good news is that Internet traffic growth in India is the fastest globally. While there is a great willingness on the part of the government and the industry to drive broadband penetration and ensure Internet access, but still there is a lot to be done. As people, devices and data get connected, the possibilities it opens are immense.”

According to the report, internet traffic in India will grow 6-fold from 2012 to 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 44 per cent. During the same period, internet video users will skyrocket to 113 million (excluding mobile-only). The report added,”In 2012, in India, non-PC accounted for 10 per cent of the IP traffic, but by 2017, the non-PC share will grow to 53 per cent.”

While portable devices like smartphones and tablets will contribute 40 per cent to IP traffic in 2017, TV’s share will be 10 per cent and machine-to-machine (M2M) modules will contribute 3 per cent. The report forecasts that Indian mobile data traffic will grow 4 times faster than Indian fixed IP traffic from 2012 to 2017. While mobile will contribute to 32 per cent of total IP traffic in 2017, the report forecasts that there will be 2 billion networked devices in 2017 in India, up from 1 billion in 2012.

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Android Ecosystem Poised To Overtake iOS – ABI Research

mobile-devicesAccording to a recent report by ABI research, Apple has been able to maintain its tablet lead by delivering a quality experience at a premium price. The report found that though the iPad maker exited the first calendar quarter of 2013 with 50% share of all tablet shipments, the Android ecosystem is poised to overtake iOS.

As per the report, the big variable for Android is China. The Middle Kingdom is passionate about the Apple brand as well as the masses’ ability to afford technology devices. Smaller, 7-inch Android tablets have become popular though most lack the Google suite of apps and Android Play marketplace. A push for sub-$200 tablets is keeping Android relevant in both developed and emerging markets.

“It’s inevitable that Android tablets will overtake iOS-powered slates, though we see no single vendor challenging Apple’s dominance anytime soon,” says senior practice director Jeff Orr. “With media tablets commercially available for more than 4 years, momentum is shifting toward value and affordability, putting tablets in more of the population’s reach.”

The report found that Average selling price (ASP) and size have been moving down-market since Android tablets started honing in on the opportunity in 2012. Rather than try to unseat Apple in the 10”-class space, tablet vendors sought a defensible area they could own; the result is the 7”-class devices.

The report revealed that facing manufacturing limits in its first quarter of offer, the 7.9-inch iPad mini put a dent in the larger iPad sales and Apple profits. The first quarter of 2013 saw Apple cover its backlog and approach the typical 4-6 weeks of sales channel inventory while recording its second-best ever quarter for total iPad shipments. ABI Research estimates that iPad mini represented 49% of units and 39% of total iPad revenues. “Expect iPad minis to become the predominant iPad model after the June quarter,” adds Orr.

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9 in 10 Indian Workers Use Email – Microsoft Survey

microsoftA recent survey conducted for Microsoft by the research firm Ipsos found that while 61 percent of Asia-Pacific employees report that social tools at work help increase their productivity, 38 percent feel that their companies underestimate the value of the tools, often restricting their use.

The survey conducted on 1,825 employees across the APAC region found that  40 percent of employees feel there isn’t enough collaboration in their workplaces and that social tools could foster better teamwork. According to the survey findings, 57 percent of employees in the Asia-Pacific region would like to be more involved in the decisions to add new technologies and tools at their workplaces, and 45 percent of employees would be willing to spend their own money on social tools to drive company efficiencies.

“Employees were already bringing their own devices into their workplaces but now they are increasingly bringing their own services as well,” said Charlene Li, founder and analyst at Altimeter Group, a firm that studies social media and other technology trends. “Employees expect to work differently, with tools that feel more modern and connected but are also reflective of how they interact in their personal lives. Enterprise social represents a new way to work, and organizations that are embracing these tools are improving collaboration, speeding customer responses and creating competitive advantage.”

The survey found that some employees, however, are facing challenges as their companies are hesitant of implementing social tools. Of the survey respondents, 39 percent said their IT departments can be a barrier to using new tools, with 74 percent naming security concerns and 47 percent citing the fear of productivity loss as the top obstacles in their organizations. As they face these challenges, 23 percent of employees in the Asia-Pacific region say they have ignored their organization’s IT policy to install social tools, and 32 percent say they know someone who has.

The research also found distinct differences between countries, sectors and genders as they relate to the levels of productivity, collaboration and communication tools used in today’s workplace.

The report found that 9 in 10 Indian workers use email, followed closely by 8 in 10 who use IM/video conferencing, and three quarters who use team sites/intranets. In India, usage levels of these tools tend to be higher than most other markets across the board.

The most prevalent social tools in the Indian community are also those recognized by workers as most useful and encouraged in the workplace. External social networks, micro blogging, and internal social networks are restricted by one quarter of Indian organizations.

7 in 10 workers in India feel that security concerns are to blame for the restrictions, while 6 in 10 feel the restrictions are due to productivity loss. However, 71% of respondents feel social tools have actually helped to increase their productivity.

Likewise, 7 in 10 respondents from India feel social tools have increased workplace collaboration, and that their company recognizes the value of providing social tools – more so than in most other countries.

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Worldwide Tablet Shipments To Grow To 229.3 million units In 2013 – IDC

idcAccording to the recent Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker by IDC, report tablet shipments are expected to grow 58.7% year over year in 2013 reaching 229.3 million units, up from 144.5 million units last year. IDC now predicts tablet shipments will exceed those of portable PCs this year, as the slumping PC market is expected to see negative growth for the second consecutive year. In addition, IDC expects tablet shipments to outpace the entire PC market (portables and desktops combined) by 2015.

“What started as a sign of tough economic times has quickly shifted to a change in the global computing paradigm with mobile being the primary benefactor,” said Ryan Reith, Program Manager for IDC’s Mobility Trackers. “Tablets surpassing portables in 2013, and total PCs in 2015, marks a significant change in consumer attitudes about compute devices and the applications and ecosystems that power them. IDC continues to believe that PCs will have an important role in this new era of computing, especially among business users. But for many consumers, a tablet is a simple and elegant solution for core use cases that were previously addressed by the PC.”

The report found that, while Apple has been at the forefront of the tablet revolution, the current market expansion has been increasingly fueled by low-cost Android devices. In 2013, the worldwide average selling price (ASP) for tablets is expected to decline -10.8% to $381. In comparison, the ASP of a PC in 2013 is nearly double that at $635. IDC expects tablet prices to decline further, which will allow vendors to deliver a viable computing experience into the hands of many more people at price points the PC industry has strived to meet for years.

Commenting on the insights, Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst for the Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker said,”Apple’s success in the education market has proven that tablets can be used as more than just a content consumption or gaming device. These devices are learning companions, and as tablet prices continue to drop, the dream of having a PC for every child gets replaced with the reality that we can actually provide a tablet for every child.”

As per the report, in addition to lower prices, another major shift in the tablet market has occurred around screen sizes. Apple’s first generation iPad, which included a 9.7-inch display, was perceived by many as the sweet spot for tablets. That is, until 7-inch Android-based tablets began to gain traction in the market. Apple responded with the iPad mini in the fourth quarter of 2012, and in the space of two quarters the sub-8-inch category exploded to overtake the larger-sized segment in terms of total shipments.


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In 2014, Smartphones To Converge With Tablets and Replace Games Consoles

smart-devicesA recent study by Oxford based tech website S21 revealed that in 2014 smartphones, phablets and tablets will merge into a device with a screen size of 6 inches. At the same time, phones will get thinner, the use of phones for voice calls will decline, and mobile data use will explode, thanks to the increasing availability of Wi-Fi, 4G networks and cloud storage.

The growth in social media will continue, with Facebook, Twitter and possibly LinkedIn receiving the majority of use from a mobile device. According to S21, new developments in user interfaces will become increasingly important, moving beyond simple touchscreen user interfaces. In the future, voice commands, eye control and gesture recognition may play greater roles in how we interact with our phones, and we will also start to use smart watches and glasses. Artificial intelligence will become more sophisticated, with smart devices able to predict our needs and act without needing direct commands.

Moore’s law predicts that next year’s smartphones will have 8- or 16-core processors, which will enable the use of mobile devices for gaming to continue to increase, threatening the future of dedicated games consoles.

Steve Morris, Managing Editor, comments: “Predicting the future is hard, and is traditionally a sport reserved for the brave and foolish. However, it’s possible to extrapolate existing trends and imagine how the smartphone might look one year into the future. What we’ve learned from the past decade is that the mobile phone is the one device that people can’t do without, and it has steadily absorbed the functionality of the camera, the MP3 player, the GPS and the video camera. Our prediction that it is poised to merge with the tablet and the games console is based on this track record of ubiquity.

“One thing that’s safe to predict is that as the capabilities of smartphones become ever greater and consumer demand shows no sign of slowing, the cost of your monthly phone bill isn’t going to fall any time soon.”

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