Business | Technology

Post-smartphone era coming

Executive says smartphone has become digital hub and less of a communications device

  • AFP
  • Published: 13:03 January 7, 2013
  • Gulf News

LAS VEGAS: The era of the smartphone is rapidly becoming a post-smartphone era, a key tech industry analyst said yesterday ahead of the opening of the world’s biggest technology show.

Shawn DuBravac, chief economist at the Consumer Electronics Association, told a gathering that the smartphone has become so successful it is now a hub for people’s digital lives, and less of a communications device.

“I think we are entering a post-smartphone era,” he told journalists ahead of Tuesday’s opening of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

He said 65 per cent of time spend on smartphones now is “non-communication activities” such as apps for health, entertainment or other activities.

“We have moved away not only from telephony but from communications being the primary part of these devices,” he said.

“So it is not just a communications device, it is a hardware hub around which people build services... the smartphone is becoming the viewfinder for your digital life.”

DuBravac said this is among the key trends being watched as tens of thousands gather to show off the latest wares in global trillion-dollar technology sector.

Another trend is the high-density screens which are being developed for smartphones, tablets, computers and bigger devices such as televisions.

“This has implications for the Web generally,” he said.

And because people have higher-quality screens, “We are going to demand high resolution images, and that will have an impact on a variety of internet services.

“We see it happening at the smartphone level. But this is a shift that is happening across all screens.”

Still, DuBravac said the so-called ultra-HD televisions touted by some makers has been slow to catch on because of high costs.

Only around 1.5 million of these TVs are expected to be sold annually by 2016, he said.

“We are not expecting this to be a technology that ramps very quickly,” he noted.

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