Ronnie05's Blog

Laptops set to follow the way of the Dodo? (Counter arguements)

Posted in Device Platforms, Mobile Data & Traffic by Manas Ganguly on April 10, 2013

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 76.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13), down -13.9% compared to the same quarter in 2012 and worse than the forecast decline of -7.7%, according to the International Data Corporation. This is one of the steepest declines in this segment over the last 19 years.

PC Numbers

IDC further states: ” Despite some mild improvement in the economic environment, and some new PC models offering Windows 8, PC shipments were down significantly across all regions compared to a year ago. Fading mini notebook shipments have taken a big chunk out of the low end market while tablets and smartphones continue to divert consumer spending. PC Industry efforts to offer touch capabilities and ultraslim systems have been hampered by traditional barriers of price and component supply, as well as a weal reception for Windows8. The PC industry is struggling to identify innovations that differentiate PCs from other products and inspire conssumers to buy, and instead is meeting significant resistance to changes perceieved as cumbersome or costly”.

Unlike the consumer PC market, the enterprise PC market has seen growth, driven by continuing PC refreshes. The professional market makes up about half of all shipments.

Worldwide PC Shipments Q1, 2013

Gartner corroborates the sentiment measuring an 11.2 percent decline quarter over quarter and quarterly shipments of 79.2 million units, a bit higher than IDC’s numbers — and therefore the lowest levels since the second quarter of 2009, per its estimates.

And hence comes the much debated oft enquired questions – Is the PC/Laptop segment going the way of the Dodo??

And the way i see it – and the way i believe it – PCs are not dead. Sidelined – Yes! Dead – No! Steve Jobs would have been correct in a lot of other things – but as far as Post PC era is concerned, i am not the most convinced. To me it always is a PC+ Era – PC + Tablet + Smartphone + Tablet + Watch + Glass + what ever else.

Two principle reasons to support my arguement –

1. PC will be the enterprise hero – it will be the data generator – as opposed to a smartphone, Glass, tablet or watch which will essentially be data consumers and data. There is a point that most of the data will be in Video -but there will still need to be memos and accounts in office parlance. I hardly see any other device doing that as efficiently as the age old PC/Laptop

2. Supporting my numbers for Point 1 – the data generated and conducted through a laptop through 2017 will still be sizeable compared to a lot of other computing machines such as smartphones. The numbers from CISCO VNI on the data per unit machine forecasts through 2011 – 2017 has a point in favour of the Laptop PC.

Global Device Data Traffic
Source: CISCO VNI

Even though Laptop contribution to the global data traffic will be around 14%, it would still be the second largest device in terms of data traffic share beyond the ubiquitous smartphone!

Data Traffic 2017
Source: CISCO VNI

Adding the facts and numbers so presented, Laptop category is far from dead – it will be an important member of the convergence and computing econ-system. One that is key to niche computing in enterprises.

Whats your point of view on the future of the laptop?

Facebook Home: Aint like home! (I ain’t want to live there for sure)

Posted in Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on April 6, 2013

What started at Facebook as a phone idea has now materialized as a mobile platform. That would not surprise many out there especially with Mark Zuckerberg ranting on about his ambitions to become a mobile company. With a billion and more users on Facebook – it was about time, Facebook would try and engage its audiences in a more controlled environment to be able to make better revenues. Facebook wanted to be the central entity in the mobile users life and thus the Facebook home.

Facebook Home

Facebook Home is an alternative launcher on Android. This wraps the Facebook services around the home screen for the user – networking, chatheads, messaging, likes, follow, sharing, messaging, feeds, chatheads and more. However, Facebook Home hasn’t done any deep modifications to Android, like Amazon did with its Kindle Fire tablets. That allows Facebook Home to run on existing phones, in addition to new phones with Home pre-installed – a layer that runs on top of your existing Android software.

Eventually, Facebook plans to show advertisements somewhere within Home, and the company may also open up certain features of Home to other apps. Thus Facebook Home is to become to mobile & social what Google is to search; Question is – do I really need it? There’s so much of Facebook overload anyways that the evolved & matured users are moving away from Facebook. And FB is trying to put its wrapper around my mobile yet again?

From the user perspective, an agregator service has held the most promise but has delivered in the least. Classic example – iGoogle. Thus FB home is as Fab a concept as it gets- but FB fatigue may be a key impediment from mass usage. I am not sure but i am not exactly comfortable looking at my Facebook timeline every time i look at my home screen. And then there is alsways the privacy bug around the Facebooks and Googles of the world!

Bottomeline there – Facebook Home is worth a visit, but it isn’t yet a place I want to live. The way i see it Facebook home will induce a lot of trials but sooner users will get fatigued and turn it off! Zuckerberg needs to be smarter than this to make Facebook the centre of mobile experiences!

India: Mobile and Smartphone markets (2012 vs 2011)

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on April 4, 2013

CMR _ India Mobile Markets

1. Mobile handset sales in India grew 20.8 per cent to 221.6 million units in 2012 (over 183.4 million units in 2011)
2. Feature phones sales grew 19.9 per cent to 206.4 million in 2012 from 172.2 million in the previous year
3. Although we see a huge market ‘hype’ around smartphones, the fact remains that the India mobile handset market is still dominated by shipments of feature phones.
4. This indicates India is still a ‘new phone’ market, where feature phones contribute to the bulk of shipments compared to replacements or upgrades
5. Smartphones comprised a small chunk of the overall handset market at about 7 per cent, the high-end category grew at a robust 35.7 per cent to 15.2 million devices in 2012 from 11.2 million units in 2011
6. The market remains largely fragmented across a huge number of Players – most of them white labeled Indian brands manufactured in China.
7. With the entry point of smartphones coming down to about Rs.3000-4000, 2013 could be the tipping point for smartphone adoption in India as buyers intending an upgrade purchase would make the jump to smartphones.

Source: CMR

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