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TRENDSETTERS: My technology predictions for 2014 Featured
30 January 2014 Posted by 

TRENDSETTERS: My technology predictions for 2014

 By Kate Hill

Partner Deloitte Private, Western Sydney

WESTERN Sydney has leapt back to life after the Christmas and New Year’s break. I hope you’ve all managed to recharge your batteries and are ready to take on 2014.

Could this be the year when we get the go-ahead on a new airport in Western Sydney? I don’t want to jinx it, but the smoke signals coming from the federal and state governments look promising.

I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions; mine don’t tend to last beyond January, so I don’t really see the point. However,  I don’t see any problem in making a few predictions.

Around this time each year, our own tech boffins stare into their crystal balls, read the runes and see which way the wind is blowing to make some bold technology predictions, including:

Phablets are not a fad

Last year, they said 2013 was going to be the year of the ‘phablet’ ─ a smartphone with the enhanced screen size of a tablet. As more people are watching movies and TV shows on their handheld device, they are seeking out larger screens.

Typically, phablets have five to 6.9 inch screens and provide a much richer experience than a smaller smartphone, yet without the inconvenience of a full-sized tablet.

Last week, it was reported that even Apple was rumoured to be expanding the size of its smartphone screens in an attempt to halt the defection of users to Android devices with larger screens.

Shipments of phablets should represent a quarter of smartphones sold in 2014, totalling some 300 million units. That is double the 2013 volume, and 10 times 2012 sales.

But after initial rapid consumer success, 2014 may mark a ‘peak phablet’ year, as only a sizeable minority of smartphones users will want such a large device.

The other prediction from last year was that the PC was not dead and it would continue to be the main source of Internet traffic.

Although many of us choose the convenience of a tablet to surf the Internet at home, when we are travelling or for note-taking at meetings, the vast majority of us still use a PC or laptop with a full keyboard to do the majority of our daily work.

Smartphone generation gap

This year, the biggest trends are the near saturation of smartphone adoption across most age groups except the over-55s, which will see usage grow by 25 per cent. Although the baby boomers are upgrading to smartphones, a quarter of the over-55s still won’t download a single app!

Less will be spent on the device itself in 2014, and more will be redirected to software, apps and games, as well as media and data plans.

Wearable devices

Another key trend is wearable devices. Deloitte predicts that consumer interest will lead to a lucrative market with US$3 billion in sales of smart glasses, watches, and fitness bands worldwide. In Australia alone, we anticipate one-in-four of 17-75 year olds will own a wearable device by August this year.

I do wonder however how long these devices will last – I know I am not the only person out there who is now fully aware of the deficit in their activity levels as each step (or lack thereof) is logged by the fitness band they unwrapped on Christmas Day morning. I predict many of the bands I see around the wrists of my office colleagues will not make it to 2015!

On a more serious note, these devices do have the potential to become valuable and cost-saving wellness-promotion tools.

The data they capture can be used to inform health care professionals via ‘e-Visits’ which in turn could reduce medical costs and improve care and health outcomes for our ageing population.

Another expected development in 2014 is that mobile instant messaging services, like ‘What’s App’, will generate about 70 per cent of all messages sent from mobile phones, but deliver only about three per cent of the value to the telecoms industry.

Although 70 billion messages will be sent via mobile devices every day, only 21 billion will be via SMS, generating revenues of about US$100 billion globally this year, compared to just US$2 billion for mobile IM services.

As someone with friends and family abroad, these mobile IM services have been a revelation for keeping in touch with loved ones at little or no cost.

So, there you have it. A whistle-stop tour of the big technology predictions for 2014.

The next question is: what impact will these trends have on your business or the way you work?

Have you considered how your business can harness these trends to disrupt the competition and improve the way you operate? To read our complete report on technology trends, please visit:

http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_AU/au/industries/tmt/index.htm

Contact Kate at khill@deloitte.com.au

 



editor

Michael Walls
Publisher
P: 0407 783 413
E: Michael@accessnews.com.au

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