Net tablet PCs, cloud computing and smartphones are set to lead the technology race in 2010, according to the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) practice at Deloitte.
The new wave of connected and portable net tablets are expected to offer a more appealing balance of form and function, and are anticipated to be purchased by 10 of millions of people in the year ahead.
Adrian Moorgas, director of Deloitte Consulting, comments: "The rise of the net tablet is primarily due to consumers’ needs for a device that is large enough for browsing the internet, accessing media and entertainment applications, but at the same time, small enough to be light and portable.”
Due to recent advancements in technology, the gap between the largest smart phone and smallest available netbook can now be filled.
The likes of Apple and Microsoft teaming up with HP are expected to launch their products early this year, following news out of the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Custom-designed tablets are also likely to be released by start-ups, some existing phone and PC makers, netbook leaders, and various smaller manufacturers using open-source phone operating systems.
Deloitte predicts that, in 2010, cloud computing is likely to grow much faster than most other technology vehicles but will still fail to reach the heights its more enthusiastic supporters have suggested.
Moorgas says: “There will likely be growth in segments where data storage is not critical such as Gmail, Facebook and Amazon etc. Corporate organisations that store data that is critical to their daily operations are still apprehensive about security, reliability and data portability when it comes to cloud computing."
As these perceptions of security, reliability and portability are addressed we will see a faster adoption by markets with more mature, secure and dependable IT infrastructure such as North America and Europe while enterprises of developing countries like South Africa will take a few more years.
Nowadays, more and more users are using smartphones compared to traditional PCs and laptops for basic computing functions such as calendar management, short e-mail responses, instant messaging, updating social sites and performing information searches.
In 2009, smartphone sales exceeded PC sales for the first time and continue to grow, with this gap widening in 2010. There will also be an increase in the number of searches due to the easy accessibility and speed to which the searches can be done.
Moorgas adds: “Applications that use the GPS and electronic purse functionality to not only access the right information but to also allow the user to take the action step further, such as finding the nearest cinema, providing directions based on current location and paying for the tickets, all in one smooth process, quickly, will become mainstream.
"There is also likely to be significant improvement in user interfaces, voice recognition, visual search, and projection technologies.”