Sat, Mar 03, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Phones driving growth in digital info spending

SILVER LINING:Gartner analysts said that the ‘personal cloud’ would drive the industry over the next few years, and mark a paradigm shift from devices to services

Staff Writer, with CNA

Global consumer spending on digital information, recreation and entertainment is growing rapidly because of a dramatic boost in the number of mobile subscribers in emerging markets and the growing availability of broadband and mobile Internet access, according to market intelligence firm Gartner Inc.

Gartner forecast in July last year that annual spending would grow to over US$2.2 trillion by 2014, but later shortened the estimated timeline to this year. It said spending is growing by at least US$100 billion every year.

Looking at the spending breakdown, mobile, fixed and video services accounted for 62 percent of the total, devices comprised 28 percent and content 10 percent, the firm’s analysis showed.

By 2015, consumers are forecast to be spending as much as US$2.8 trillion annually on digital information and entertainment products, as well as services, despite the global economic downturn, the company forecast.

The concept of “personal cloud” data storage will also have a deep impact on the information technology industry, it said.

Users or consumers will be able to easily access information or entertainment anywhere and at any time using their own devices, whether tablets, personal computers or smartphones, Taiwan-based Gartner analyst Tracy Tsai (蔡惠芬) said at a press conference in Taipei.

“As long as the infotainment is personalized, in accordance with personal preferences and settings, it can be seen as a ‘personal cloud,’” Tsai said.

This new era will mark a paradigm shift from devices to services, she said, adding that content and services are already leading sales of devices. Last year, over 45 million tablets, or 80 percent of the total, were sold in North America and Western Europe, where content and services have a stronghold, according to the global information technology advisory firm.

“Regardless of the brand of the device they own or they’re considering to buy, consumers will need to work with their ‘personal clouds,’” Gartner managing vice president Andrew Johnson said.

In order to expand sales of devices and services globally, technology and service providers must integrate localized content into the cloud ecosystem, he added.

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