Carolina Milanesi

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Carolina Milanesi
Research VP
10 years at Gartner
11 years IT industry

Carolina Milanesi is a Research VP in Gartner's Mobile Devices team and agenda manager for mobile devices. Ms. Milanesi leads the research for mobile devices worldwide and is responsible for the forecasting and market share effort in this area. Other areas of coverage are mobile…Read Full Bio

Join us for Gartner Briefing: The Personal Cloud, Devices, and Social Media

by Carolina Milanesi  |  January 4, 2012  |  Comments Off

Gartner Briefing: The Personal Cloud, Devices, and Social Media

Please join leading Gartner Analysts from our Consumer and Electronics Research Teams as they highlight key trends in this space.  The sessions will focus on those markets Gartner believes can have the biggest impact on your revenues in the near, mid and long-term and what we believe you need to do now to plan to maximize your success.

Join us for a morning of interactive presentations and learn how Gartner insight can help you innovate and grow your business.

AGENDA

8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Martin Reynolds, Managing VP Consumer Tech & Markets

Welcome & Introduction

9:00 a.m. – 9:35 a.m. Michael Gartenberg, Research Director Consumer Tech & Markets

Consumer Personal Cloud, Ready to Eclipse the Personal Computer for Consumers

The Personal Cloud is the next gestation of the personal computing revolution. The personal cloud over time will displace the PC as the location where users keep their personal content, access their services, and personal preferences and center their digital lives. Consumer’s data will be available on a contextual basis flowing from device to device, screen to screen and location to location. We explore this sea change in the consumer digital experience and what it means for technology and content service providers.

9:35 a.m.  – 10:10 a.m. Carolina Milanesi, Research VP Consumer Tech & Markets

From PCs to the Personal Cloud: Device Impact

The personal cloud era will mark a power shift from devices toward services.  In this new world, the specifics of devices will become less important.  Consumers and professional users will use a collection of devices, with the PC remaining one of many options, but no one device will be the primary hub.  Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role.  Access to the cloud and the content stored or shared from the cloud will be managed and secured, rather than focusing solely on the device.  In this new era device manufacturers will have to focus on software rather than hardware with ease of use as the ultimate goal of the experience they are delivering.  The intuitiveness and richness of the device user interface, the ease of sharing content between devices and to and from the cloud will be paramount in guiding the consumers into this new era.

10:10 a.m.  – 10:35 a.m. 
Angela McIntyre, Research Director Consumer Tech & Markets

Future Computing Form-factors and User Interfaces

Consumers’ lifestyles are driving changes in technology, and technology is enabling new consumer lifestyles.  Device interfaces and the personal cloud are at the critical intersection of these changes.  Today’s voice, gesture, multi-touch and haptics will replace or complement keyboards.  In the future the best multi-modal interfaces will work together seamlessly and will “disappear” in the eyes of the user. Vendors that get the recipe right will thrive, ones that don’t will struggle in a commoditized low-margin business.

10:35 a.m.  – 10:50 a.m.

Break

10:50 a.m.  – 11:15 a.m. 
Mark Hung, Research Director Semiconductors and Electronics

The Personal Cloud: How Do You Hook It Up?

Connected devices are proliferating throughout the home, and the volume of personal data is growing by leaps and bounds in the public network, accessed through personal cloud services.  We will examine the connectivity technologies that underlie this phenomenon, explore the new growth opportunities in the major platforms, and discuss which industry players stand to benefit from this emerging trend.

11:15 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.
Brian Blau, Research Director Consumer Tech & Markets

Consumer Apps Drive Social, Game and Cloud Ecosystems

Smartphone and tablet experiences continues to captivate consumers by delivering compelling features such as social networking, television and movies, video games and entertainment as well as many other useful and fun services all through the convenience of a mobile device. Brands who have or are considering deploying mobile apps need to understand the mobile app economy, how it’s being personalized, its inclusion of core social functionality, and how app design and easy access to syncing and storing your data are key components.

Gartner, Inc., 56 Top Gallant Road, P.O. Box 10212, Stamford, CT 06904-2212

© 2010 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. or its affiliates. For more information, e-mail info@gartner.com or visit gartner.com. Produced by Gartner Corporate Marketing.

Wednesday, January 18 2012 8:00 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.

Sofitel Hotel 223 Twin Dolphin Drive 
Redwood City, California 94065 
Phone: 650-598-9000

Click Here to Register for Event

Gartner Briefing: The Personal Cloud, Devices, and Social Media

Please join leading Gartner Analysts from our Consumer and Electronics Research Teams as they highlight key trends in this space.  The sessions will focus on those markets Gartner believes can have the biggest impact on your revenues in the near, mid and long-term and what we believe you need to do now to plan to maximize your success.

Join us for a morning of interactive presentations and learn how Gartner insight can help you innovate and grow your business.

AGENDA

8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Martin Reynolds, Managing VP Consumer Tech & Markets

Welcome & Introduction

9:00 a.m. – 9:35 a.m. Michael Gartenberg, Research Director Consumer Tech & Markets

Consumer Personal Cloud, Ready to Eclipse the Personal Computer for Consumers

The Personal Cloud is the next gestation of the personal computing revolution. The personal cloud over time will displace the PC as the location where users keep their personal content, access their services, and personal preferences and center their digital lives. Consumer’s data will be available on a contextual basis flowing from device to device, screen to screen and location to location. We explore this sea change in the consumer digital experience and what it means for technology and content service providers.

9:35 a.m.  – 10:10 a.m. Carolina Milanesi, Research VP Consumer Tech & Markets

From PCs to the Personal Cloud: Device Impact

The personal cloud era will mark a power shift from devices toward services.  In this new world, the specifics of devices will become less important.  Consumers and professional users will use a collection of devices, with the PC remaining one of many options, but no one device will be the primary hub.  Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role.  Access to the cloud and the content stored or shared from the cloud will be managed and secured, rather than focusing solely on the device.  In this new era device manufacturers will have to focus on software rather than hardware with ease of use as the ultimate goal of the experience they are delivering.  The intuitiveness and richness of the device user interface, the ease of sharing content between devices and to and from the cloud will be paramount in guiding the consumers into this new era.

10:10 a.m.  – 10:35 a.m. 
Hugues De La Vergne, Principal Research Analyst Consumer Tech & Markets

North American Mobile Devices Outlook

Smartphone volume continues to beat records, tablets sales are exploding, E-readers are doubling YoY.  How will these devices co-exist or cannibalize one another and who will be the winners?  How does the all powerful operator fit into this?

10:35 a.m.  – 10:50 a.m.

Break

10:50 a.m.  – 11:15 a.m. 
Mark Hung, Research Director Semiconductors and Electronics

The Personal Cloud: How Do You Hook It Up?

Connected devices are proliferating throughout the home, and the volume of personal data is growing by leaps and bounds in the public network, accessed through personal cloud services.  We will examine the connectivity technologies that underlie this phenomenon, explore the new growth opportunities in the major platforms, and discuss which industry players stand to benefit from this emerging trend.

11:15 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.
Brian Blau, Research Director Consumer Tech & Markets

Consumer Apps Drive Social, Game and Cloud Ecosystems

Smartphone and tablet experiences continues to captivate consumers by delivering compelling features such as social networking, television and movies, video games and entertainment as well as many other useful and fun services all through the convenience of a mobile device. Brands who have or are considering deploying mobile apps need to understand the mobile app economy, how it’s being personalized, its inclusion of core social functionality, and how app design and easy access to syncing and storing your data are key components.

Gartner, Inc., 56 Top Gallant Road, P.O. Box 10212, Stamford, CT 06904-2212

© 2010 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. or its affiliates. For more information, e-mail info@gartner.com or visit gartner.com. Produced by Gartner Corporate Marketing.

Thursday, January 19 2012 8:00 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.

Hilton San Diego Mission Valley 901 Camino del Rio South
San Diego, California 92108 
Phone: 619-543-9000

Click Here to Register for Event

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HP TouchPad is finally unveiled. Does it live up to expectations?

by Carolina Milanesi  |  February 10, 2011  |  2 Comments

The HP TouchPad was finally unveiled today in San Francisco. The hardware certainly looks good with a sleek design and a good feature set. WebOS comes with a few improvements and tweaks from the Palm Pre that makes the product a credible competitor in the already busy tablet market. HP also seem to have put a lot of effort into the application catalogue counting over 6 thousand apps in it’s store. There are also some interesting differentiators in the Touch Stone and the Touch To Share technology. Although there was no indication on pricing if I had to guess I would say in the 600 USD.

Abandoning the Palm brand, HP also introduced two smartphones the Pre Veer and the Pre3. The Veer joins into the “mini” trend that we have seen in Europe since last year but that has not hit the US market yet. We mentioned in our research, that if consumers are buying tablets they might be interesting in a smaller form factor smartphone that offers the same experience as the tablet but with a smaller footprint. The Pre3 is an improved Pre with a world-phone set up supporting HSPA and EVDO.

HP seems to be building on this ease of use for multiple device ownership. Although this is certainly a bonus it might also be something that comes naturally to consumers. As a consumer surely I want my smartphone and my tablet to run on the same OS so that I can leverage my apps, settings and content. That said, I think that HP is being smart at trying to sell this tie between devices as a differentiator rather than forcing users into it by creating a dependence from one product to another one. Synergy and Touch Stone allowing for cloud and wireless devices synch are certainly a differentiator.

HP has delivered on the first step of what will certainly be a long journey for them. To some extent, HP will have to be convincing that it can be a credible player in this market. Tablets are sexy, cutting edge devices that need a brand that consumers see as such. This is what HP need to work on by launching a strong marketing campaign and by leveraging it’s channel partners to build market presence quickly.

Adding WebOS to the PC is a very interesting move aimed at strengthening the ecosystem offering for developers and partners as well as locking consumers into an HP experience.

Gartner will be publishing an event note covering the announcements in more detail.

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Mobile World Congress 2011: What to expect

by Carolina Milanesi  |  February 4, 2011  |  2 Comments

I was in two minds this year as to whether to attend MWC or not given I was going to attend CES in January and I expected to get a good feel for the 2011 trends there.  After a long debate I decided to bite the bullet and miss one more Valentine’s Day at home, break in a new pair of shoes and fly off to sunny Barcelona.

Although some of the trends for the year have been presented at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas in January, Mobile World Congress is certainly not an event to be missed, as it remains the “must attend” show in the mobile world industry. Vendors that play a more dominant role in mobile and have a more world-wide presence keep their best in show for this event to make sure they get the deserved attention.

Over the years, MWC has mutated to reflect the changes that the mobile industry is going through. The name alone was a give away from GSM to 3GSM to Mobile World Congress. Looking at the big brand names that we see taking part this year: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo. Twitter and Intel just to name a few it is clear how there is much more than mobile that gets discussed and showcased in Barcelona. The addition of Macworld Mobile as part of App Planet testifies the impact that Apple, a brand that does not usually take part in the event, has had on the mobile industry not just from a hardware perspective with iPhone and iPad but even more significantly, for its App Store.

Smartphones and tablets will be at centre stage of the show and with them all the ingredients that allow them to be at the top of many consumers shopping list: dual-core chipsets, 3D technology, improved user interfaces around touch, faster networks on LTE technology, new form of payments such as Near Field Communication, and lots of applications.

With devices becoming more and more capable, dual-core processors allow for a faster richer experience when it comes to gaming, HD video, browsing and graphic -intensive user interfaces. Speed on the devices is only half the story though. Cellular networks need to step up to deliver better speed and more capacity. LTE will do exactly that and after many years that have seen developments on infrastructure and USB keys and PC Cards should finally show us some devices. LG’s invite to their press conference talks about taking us to a new dimension hinting 3D will soon be coming to their Optimus product line. 3D indeed brings a new dimension not just to video and gaming but also for user interfaces in a similar way we have seen with Android Honeycomb OS for tablets. Lastly, we expect Near Field Communication to roll out in more Android devices and be supported by operators as consumers make their mobile phone even more the center of their life by turning them into digital wallets.

With travel budgets not as tight as last year, and judging from the high attendance numbers at CES, we should expect a big crowd in Barcelona where things will kick on Sunday Feb. 13 the day before the actual event opens. I expect a great buzz, from an industry that is going through an exciting time where industry players are presented with many opportunities but also face unexpected threats.

See you in Barcelona!

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Where was gaming at CES 2011?

by Carolina Milanesi  |  January 10, 2011  |  1 Comment

by Tuong Nguyen – Principal Analyst Consumer Technologies & Markets

Like other people attending CES, the hype around Nintendo’s return to the show after a 16 year absence led me to believe there would be a relevant gaming presence at the show.  Nintendo didn’t have a booth on the floor, but instead opted for a number of private showings of the anticipated 3DS.  Other notable hardware gaming vendors such as Microsoft and Sony dedicated the expected amount of show floor to gaming.  The gaming pavilion was mostly a number of smaller, me-too vendors, but there was some innovation to be seen.

Maybe Nintendo is waiting for a more appropriate forum like E3 to talk about gaming, or maybe an event closer to the 3DS launch date.  Whatever the case, the gaming market is at a turning point.   The industry faced its toughest year, yet.  2010 hardware sales are estimated to be down at least 22% over 2009.  Gartner expects 2011 to be flat to down.  Moreover, we don’t expect to year over year growth in the next 5 years.

In the past year, we’ve seen the rise of numerous smart phone operating systems, growth of applications stores to cater to these platforms, and a surge in sales and interest in smart phone devices (almost 1 in 5 phones sold in 2010 were smart phones).  Moreover, the introduction of tablet devices (which I’m sure my esteemed colleagues have also blogged about) has further fueled this market.   An increasing number of consumers are gravitating towards these devices and gaming on them. The mass market is turning to gaming on these devices because of increased awareness and the install base is also growing (more and more people have game-capable devices, and smartphones).  Furthermore, these devices are also gaining interest with the more hardcore, dedicated gamers due to improved hardware, added features and functionality of these devices – making them more suitable for richer, better gaming experiences – nvidia’s demo with LG’s Optomus 2X certainly showed this.

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CES – Hybrid Tablets on the loose

by Carolina Milanesi  |  January 5, 2011  |  4 Comments

Surprise surprise, CES has not even officially started and it is all about tablets. We knew this was going to be the case and I do not want to dwell too much about the general tablet topic or the 7inch vs 10inch debate as I have done that in previous blogs and reports. What is interesting to me is the hybrid solutions that we have seen from the likes of Asus and Lenovo.

Asus has shown a slider form factor similar to what Lenovo presented last year. With this you basically have two in one: tablet and mini-notebook (aka netbook/smartbook). Some would argue that you could just do a netbook with a touch screen and let that be that. At the end of the day you give the option, which is what people want: Keyboard for typing and touch screen for manipulating content. The point is though, that when you want to use the screen alone, say to read a book or surf the web, you do not want the keypad to get in the way.  This is why having a detachable screen will appeal to many users.  At least initially… Touch-type technology is improving quite quickly and vendors are certainly focusing on improving the experience. Android’s new OS release Gingerbread has improved on the virtual keypad. So although the iPad keyboard seems to be a hot-seller accessory I wonder how long users will feel the need for a physical keypad.  We are looking into running a consumer panel on tablets use models and I am keen to hear from “normal” consumers – rather than my peers and people in the business – if they tend to focus on one task that requires touch and move to a different task that requires a keyboard rather than jumping between the two within the same task.  I think the same usage behaviour applies to smartphones that have touch and qwerty.

The other side of hybrid is around the OS. Lenovo offers LePad that slides into the base of a U1 so that you have Android and Windows in the same machine. Surely if Microsoft decided to bring Windows Phone 7 to a tablet form factor this kind of devices would make everyone happy. At the end of the day the reason why you want Microsoft and Android in the same machine is to cover your work and play needs.

Time to hit the floor and see what else is coming….wish me luck!

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Google Nexus S: Gingerbread…Christmas…a natural match

by Carolina Milanesi  |  December 7, 2010  |  Comments Off

Yesterday Google revealed the new version of the Android platform called Gingerbread and as we have become accustomed to see a new device under the Nexus brand. This is not the Nexus 2 – as this was actually brought to market under the LG brand and called Optimus 1. This is the Nexus S – maybe a link to the Samsung Galaxy S and the only sign that this device is actually made by Samsung as no brand name seem to appear on the actual device.

The feature set includes: a 4 inch 800 x480 resolution super-AMOLED “contour” display, meaning that it’s slightly curved so that it fits around your face more comfortably when making calls; a 5 megapixel camera, and a front-facing camera for video chatting; a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 16GB of memory, assisted GPS, bluetooth, wi-fi and 3G.

The more interesting features are the ones that the actual OS brings and that we assume will be made available to other members of the Handset Alliance in due course. According to Andy Rubin, Gingerbread is the fastest version of Android yet, and it delivers a number of improvements, such as user interface refinements, NFC support, a new keyboard and text selection tool, Internet (VoIP/SIP) calling, improved copy/paste functionality and gyroscope sensor support.

In the UK, the Nexus S will be out on December 20th, at Carphone Warehouse. Users will be able to choose between a £550 sim-free device or contracts starting at £35 per month with the handset coming for free – although I have not yet seen which operator will offer it.

Not having had the device in my hand I am not able to judge any of the features other than to say that on paper this looks like a strong OS update and will certainly help Android’s momentum for the Holiday Season and into 2011.

The interesting point to me is that many industry commentators have focused on the features and the OS and arrived at the conclusion that the limited success of the Nexus One was linked to hardware and software limitations and that the improvements in the new device will make it a success. The reality is that when the Nexus One reached the market in early 2010 it was the best Android phone available as it is the case for Nexus S. What failed the Nexus One was Google’s go to market strategy. And Google appears to have learnt from its mistakes and opened up its channel to Carphone Warehouse in the UK and BestBuy in the US. This will make a significant difference in the exposure that the Nexus S will have for consumers.

For Samsung, the Nexus S means more from a marketing perspective than necessarily a sales point of view. Being chosen as the alternative to HTC for the second Nexus device adds to being the first vendor selling the first Android based media tablet – the Galaxy Tab – and cements Samsung’s leadership in Android market share.

I cannot help but wonder though, if it is a good thing for the second largest phone vendor to give up its brand on the front of the device. Is this a mean to an end for Samsung and in the wholeness of things it does not matter if it means they will be the first vendor out with their on Gingerbread product – possibly a Galaxy S update? Or is this the first step towards turning into a Google ODM?

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Casting some light on the white-box phenomenon

by Carolina Milanesi  |  November 24, 2010  |  1 Comment

Our 3Q10 market share document has caused a bit of excitement as it appeared that we changed our methodology on how we track white-box sales. Our methodology has NOT changed but the market HAS.

In recent trips in China and Russia and through our continued discussions with key players in the white-box value chain we were able to validate some of the changes that this market has undergone over the past year. These resulted in more aggressive volume sales expectations for 2010 than we originally forecast. It also meant that we had to revise our 1Q and 2Q 2010 market sizing.  We were also able to verify that our assessment of the white-box market for 2009 was correct and no restatement is required.

The main question many have is: how is it possible for these companies to ramp up production so fast over a year? Well, this is not what really happened. What happened is that manufacturing did grow but the main reason for the high growth is more linked to the change in business model than a massive spike in end-user demand. From our research 70% percent of white-box phones sold in 2009 were sold in the black market or with fake IMEI numbers. We do not account for such sales in our numbers the same as we do not account for refurbished phones or stolen phones. In 2010, this trend has reversed as governments have cracked down on illegal sales and IMEIs hence 70% of white-box sales are legal sales. This is where the perceived “growth” is coming from!!!

Many of the smaller companies that were doing illegal business in 2009 moved to other consumer electronics or went out of business. The market today has seen some vendors such as G’Five, Micromax, BBK, OPPO, i-Mobile and CSL that have grown their presence outside of China and into markets such as South-East Asia, India, Russia, the Middle East and Africa and Latin America. Sales are also going through tier 2 retailers and distributors rather than leveraging the smaller, less regulated channels.  This allows for their products to be much more visible to consumers than in the past.

Other changes we have seen in the market:

-       Quality has improved, as it is the larger companies that drive sales. This lowered the volume of casualty units compared to 2009.

-       The devices sold are more mid-tier devices than ultra-low cost. Features such as dual and triple SIM, resistive touch screens and QWERTY keyboards are easy to find in white-box vendors’ portfolios.

-       Improvement in the distribution channel are helping lowering inventory as run time for the products getting to market was lowered from around 10 weeks in 2009 to 5/6 weeks in 2010.

-       Larger players are offering customer support and warranty on the devices which makes them much more attractive to consumers as it lowers the risk of buying and unknown brand.

International availability and increased visibility for consumers means that users who have in the past turned to a second hand device now are opting for a white-box device instead. This is why it is not strictly correct to look at the sales volume this year over last year and think of it as growth. What we see is an increase in addressable market from users moving from second hand and illegal devices to the legitimate. Looking at our installed base (IB) number would give you a better idea of the underlying trend as second hand devices have been counted in our IB number.

We believe that accounting for white-box is key as it shows the real demand and opportunity that tier one vendors as well as communication service provider and ecosystem owners have. As a vendor you might decide to walk away from a low-margin business but you need to be conscious of the risk you are running in the long term as these users upgrade to higher end devices. As a CSP, these devices lower the entry barrier not only to voice users but also to data users as these devices transition to 3G technology. As an ecosystem owner, you need to think about the opportunity these devices offer in expanding your user base but also the risk on your brand of what might be a compromised experience.

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Symbian Foundation is dead long live Symbian

by Carolina Milanesi  |  November 8, 2010  |  4 Comments

Nokia and Symbian Foundation announced today that Symbian Foundation will be transitioning to a licensing Operation from April 1st. Nokia is committing to make the future development of the Symbian platform available to the ecosystem via an alternative and open model – but no further details were announced today.

This means that the development of the platform will remain with Nokia and Symbian Foundation will not perform a governance role over the platform.

This is a decision that we welcome and have been advocating Nokia should take such a step for quite some time. While Symbian as a platform has a role to play (albeit with a lot of work to be done on UI) Symbian Foundation failed to thrive as an open source entity driving innovation.

Nokia has been the main contributor to Symbian for quite some time now (aside from the Japanese vendors Sharp and Fujitsu), so this announcement does not represent a change to volume expectations and potential market for developers. We expect that Nokia’s decision to release the platform under a new open model will mainly serve these vendors rather than representing a real alternative to other manufacturers.

This is Nokia following through on one of the comments made by Steven Elop during the earnings call about Nokia taking control of its own destiny and continuing to differentiate its offering. This should allow Nokia to move faster when it comes to innovation.

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Steve Jobs warns about Google fragmentation and 7inch tablets

by Carolina Milanesi  |  October 19, 2010  |  Comments Off

In an unexpected appearance during the Apple’s earnings call Steve Jobs had a word of warning for some of Apple’s competitors. In what many will see as just competition trashing I see some truth.

RIM

It is true that RIM is struggling in appealing to a wider consumer audience. While they are attacked in the enterprise space appealing to consumers beyond their messaging and email proposition becomes crucial. Sales are still good but competition is growing and apps and touch are becoming a bigger drive especially in the high end.

Android

We have been warning about fragmentation for a while. And although things might not be as bad for most it is true that having different versions of the OS in the market at the same time is a headache for developers as it is for consumers. We believe this will become less of an issue as the OS matures and improvements become more cyclical. On the UI side, Google itself has mentioned this and the intention with Gingerbread to start addressing UI differentiation in the attempt to deliver more of a “One Android Experience”.

The number game is certainly a very popular game lately both on activations and apps numbers and I can’t wait for Microsoft to join in. I believe Mr Jobs mentioned the number of iOS activations rather than iPhone. This means iPhone iPad and iPod Touch. You might say this is cheating but it is not. This is the whole point about creating an ecosystem. To a developer iPod Touch and iPhone are the same device this is the beauty of it. This is what makes the ecosystem stronger. And I am sure Google will be counting all the tablets that will be shipping soon in the numbers of activations.

7inch Tablets

Well, what can I say….I mentioned this in my blog on tablets the other day http://blogs.gartner.com/carolina-milanesi/2010/10/15/so-our-media-tablet-forecast-is-out-have-we-been-drinking-the-kool-aid/

We agree with Mr Jobs, or better he agrees with us as we said it first J 7inch does not deliver the best experience. Does it mean 7inch will not come to market? No, it means that probably users will have the same disappointment they had when they bought a netbook and they thought they were getting a notebook performance in a smaller form factor.

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So our media tablet forecast is out. Have we been drinking the Kool-Aid???

by Carolina Milanesi  |  October 15, 2010  |  7 Comments

We released our media tablet forecast earlier in the week as part of our new connected consumer electronics coverage (Forecast: Connected Mobile Consumer Electronics, Worldwide, 2008-2014) and today we have sent out a press release on the forecast.

Some will look at our numbers and think that we are being way too optimistic, some will think we are right out crazy, mini-notebooks vendors will hope we are wrong and Verizon will grin knowing it has just secured the iPad.

Why are we being so optimistic about this market? Because media tablets are not mini-notebooks and they are certainly not Tablet PCs. If you think this market will be as small as the mini-notebook market you are looking at media tablets like younger siblings of a PC rather than older siblings of smartphones. Media tablets have much more in common with a smartphone than a PC. The usage model is closer to what consumers do with a smartphone while on the go than what they do on a PC when they are at their desk. It is about running applications, playing games, watching video content, reading books and magazines, surfing the web, updating your status on your social network of choice and checking email. If you can do all of this without having to take 5 minutes to boot up, without having to look for a power outlet after a couple of hours cause battery life is nice and long and with a user interface that allows you to easily get to what you need why would you not buy a media tablet??? Price might be an inhibitor in the early days but this will soon decrease as competition will get fiercer. The market will soon be flooded by a whole bunch of different models that will offer a variety of operating systems, feature sets, price points and screen sizes.

We believe that mobile operators will shift their marketing and subsidy from netbooks to media tablets in an attempt to sell more mobile broadband subscriptions. While we expect 7inch tablets to be popular in the short term due to the limitations of Android and because they are closer to smartphones we expect that in the long run 10inch tablets will be more successful as they offer a superior experience.

If you are still worried about the forecast think that in 2014 we forecast that close to 500 million phones with an ASP higher than $300 will be sold around the world. By then many tablets would have fallen considerably below that ASP.

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