Reprinted below is today’s (1.3.12) WSJ “Agenda 2012: U.S. brief by Don Clark re: technology. The title, “Apple vs. Android, PC Meets the Smartphone.”
It discusses the battlefield for 2012 for mobile devices. Interestingly, the article suggests that this may play out at the Consumer Electronics Show opening next week in Las Vegas. It references new devices that reflect converging industries: powerful tablets/smartphones v. laptop PCs with mobile device weight and battery life.
The Vehr Communications 2011 Social Media Usage Survey showed that tablets were mostly for personal use. We also speculated that advances in technology may bring the worlds of laptops and mobile devices closer together.
Definitely something to watch. Enjoy the brief below.
“High tech’s most powerful players are preparing for a new series of battles this year, many of them maneuvering to build or bolster positions in the fast-moving mobile market. Some potent combatants, including Apple Inc., are using patents as well as new products to outflank rival makers of smartphones, tablet-style computers and related products. Courts could help shape the prospects of several big names, including Google Inc. and its quest to popularize handsets and tablets running its Android operating system. The year could also be a crucial test for mobile-device laggards, like Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp., which are desperate to build bigger footholds in the market, as ailing incumbents such as Research In Motion Ltd. and Nokia Corp. face increasing pressure to shore up their franchises.
“Many of the year’s opening gambits will play out at the Consumer Electronics Show, which opens next week in Las Vegas. The big product showcase is expected to include new devices that reflect two converging industries: tablets and smartphones with personal-computer-class performance and laptop PCs with weight and battery life approaching those of cellphones. “People have finally figured out that these mobile devices are computers, and they want to do the same things as they do on their personal computers,” says Mike Rayfield, general manager of mobile computing at Nvidia Corp., a Silicon Valley chip maker. “The activity and intensity will continue to accelerate.”
“The focus on mobility has steadily increased as the personal-computer market has matured. Researchers at Gartner Inc. expect PC shipments to grow 4.5% in 2012, on the heels of less than 1% growth in 2011. By contrast, unit sales of smartphones are expected to increase nearly 40% this year, with tablet sales surging nearly 63%.
“Apple has been leading the charge since the 2007 introduction of the iPhone. But handset makers that use Google’s Android software collectively far outpace Apple shipments. Apple, Microsoft, Oracle Corp. and other Android opponents have filed patent actions in a variety of courts and before the U.S. International Trade Commission, many of which are expected to result in rulings this year.
“Also look for whether Apple produces a third iPad or embraces fourth-generation cellular technology, if Microsoft’s new operating systems take hold in the mobile market and if Facebook Inc. more aggressively counters Google in smartphone-related offerings.” (Don Clark)