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Day 4 - IFA International

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Special Feature The

Special Feature The Nomadic Revolution Portability and power fuels the Nomadic Revolution Why Consumer Electronics are being increasingly used ‘on the go’ Nomadic devices are taking IFA 2010 by storm Consumer Electronics are now accompanying people outside the home for so many applications that attempting to list them all would be futile. As electronics get smaller and devices become more portable and powerful, incredible new horizons are opening up. By Richard Barnes The advent of new kinds of connected devices, including the iPad or other tablet computers, eReaders, netbooks and media players, is very much changing the way that consumers engage with media. By the same token, laptop PCs are migrating from having been used by people for office tasks to being used primarily for entertainment and leisure activities. The incredible marketing machine that has fuelled Apple’s iPhone and iPad is powering a movement in the industry towards these kinds of devices. Admittedly, the tablet PC platform that was launched by Bill Gates in the early part of the last decade never went mainstream among consumers. But it appears today that the new form factors and limitless applications offered by today’s tablet devices is finally pushing them into the centre stage. One thing is sure – all these devices are becoming more ‘connected’. According to ABI research, more than 60% of handsets will have mobile browsers by 2015. That doubles today’s penetration rate. “Mobile browsers are evolving along two paths,” says senior ABI analyst Mark Beccue. “On one hand, highly sophisticated browsers, which we are calling full Internet browsers, will be found in all smartphones and a growing number of enhanced (or feature) phones.” Such devices can host these browsers because they have advanced application processors, expanded memory capacity and adequate screen size and resolution. These full Internet browsers typically require about 64MB of memory to run. A real key to the growth of full Internet browsers in higher-end feature phones is the falling cost of sophisticated applications processors. But there is also a second path: the proxybased (or client-server or compression) browser, which is epitomised by the Opera Mini. These browsers move some caching and processing off the phone to a nearby server, allowing the browser to run on lower-cost processors and requiring as little as 4MB of memory. That means that these browsers can be used on even the lowest-cost phones. The research indicates that the installed base of full Internet browsers will exceed that of proxy-based browsers sometime in 2012.” At the same time, personal navigation devices have come of age and are continuing to evolve in ways we would never have imagined just a few years ago. 3D animations, interactivity and intelligent traffic planning are all now part of modern packages. New devices offer more features that are attractive to customers. “New features such as multimedia functions, voice commands, and digital camera and Bluetooth connections are being added to both handheld and automotivefriendly devices,” notes ABI Research’s telematics and navigation practice director, Dominique Bonte. Personal navigation devices come with screen sizes ranging from 3 to 5 inches. In-vehicle dashboard devices have larger screens, up to 7 inches. More than 80% of the portable and in-dash navigation devices come with touchscreens, which give a more intuitive user experience. Recently, PND manufacturers are facing increased competition from GPSequipped smartphones, and some manufacturers have found their sales of PNDs declining. Free map access from Google and Nokia on mobile phones has also caused a fall in sales and average selling prices. However, ABI research associate Khin Sandi Lynn believes that stand-alone PNDs still have an advantage over smartphones. “Their larger screens provide users with a clearer view, that is also easier to use while driving,” he says. “Although volumes are dropping, standalone PNDs will remain the preferred automotive user choice for many consumers.” In short, in every sense, portable CE devices are becoming so useful and essential in our lives that we would feel almost naked without them. This ‘Nomadic Revolution’ looks set to become an increasing trend for the future. 18

Mini-notebooks' impact on the PC market has peaked and is now waning, according to Raphael Vasquez, research analyst at Gartner. Mininotebooks' share of mobile PC shipments declined for the second consecutive quarter in the second quarter Special Feature The Nomadic Revolution Impact of new mobile devices on the world PC market Tablets growing and mini-notebooks declining – Gartner projects sales for the next few years in an increasingly lucrative market of 2010, falling under 18 per cent. Mini-notebooks' share of the mobile PC market peaked in late 2009, when they accounted for nearly 20 per cent of total mobile PC shipments. Their share is expected to continue falling until it reaches around 10 per cent by late 2014."We still think the mini-notebook has a place in the mobile PC market, but not as a substitute for a standard mobile PC. Indeed, the recent decline in mini-notebooks' share of the mobile PC market reflects a general realisation among buyers that mini-notebooks are lessthan-perfect substitutes for standard low-end laptops," Mr Vasquez said. "Buyers who once would have bought a mini-notebook based solely on its low price now seem more inclined to buy a low-end standard notebook, especially since the prices of the two have converged. Mini-notebooks are slowly but surely carving out a market niche for themselves as companion devices. However, the emergence of media tablets is a growing threat to that niche." Gartner defines a tablet PC as having a touchscreen size of 5 inches or more, outfitted with a full-function operating system (OS), such as Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP or Mac OS X. A media tablet is defined as a device that has a screen size of 5 inches or larger and is outfitted with a restricted-function OS, such as iPhone, Android and Chrome. Gartner includes tablet PCs in its PC market statistics and forecasts, but excludes media tablets from both. “Nonetheless, media tablets will affect the PC market, especially mininotebooks, and the forecast reflects this impact,” said George Shiffler, research director at Gartner. "The iPad hasn't had much of an impact on mini-notebook units so far, if only because it is generally priced higher than most mini-notebooks," Mr Shiffler said. "However, we anticipate lower-priced iPad imitations will begin to take larger bites out of mininotebook units as they are released next year." The EMEA Market The EMEA PC market continued to be bolstered by very strong mobile consumer demand across all regions. “We expected the share of mini-notebooks to decline but they sustained 20 per cent of the total mobile PC market, indicating their permanent presence in the PC market in EMEA. The professional PC market has been more affected by both the economic conditions and pricing stabilisation, and we expect demand to pick up in the second half of 2010,” said Mr Atwal. ADVERTORIAL PocketBook presents new innovative devices PocketBook International, a specialist for multifunctional E-ink reading technology, presents five new models of e-readers with high-performance software and cutting-edge hardware at IFA 2010. An extended assortment of e-readers is represented by PocketBook Pro 602, Pro 902 – standard models, PocketBook Pro 603, Pro 903 – premium class models and PocketBook IQ with a TFT color screen. The new PocketBook range allows every user to choose the most suitable device in terms of functionality, size and value that corresponds to their individual needs and preferences. The product will be available at the end of October 2010. PocketBook Pro E-Ink 6” and 9.7” screens 3G module, WiFi, Bluetooth Touchscreen (Digitizer) Text-to-speech (24 languages) High-quality content store Supports 16 formats PocketBook IQ Color 7” TFT screen (Android 2.0) Touchscreen WiFi IFA International • Monday, 6 th September 2010 19

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