Tuesday, September 3, 2013
The Return of Tech -- Coming to a store near you
I have always been an avid, but very selective, movie fan. I have been impressed by the dismal offerings this year so far from the movie industry. Which, of course, reminds me of the equally unimpressive offers from the technology companies also. So, is all this about to change? Steven Spielberg and George Lucas joined in predicting a film industry implosion based primarily on the dismal lack of originality. I don't have much hope that movies will get better any time soon. Nobody is predicting the implosion of the tech industry, but there is high drama and action in the maneuvering of Apple, Google and Microsoft for market share and things are about to change in a big way.
So what does all this have to do with genealogy? Well, plenty actually. Whether we like it or not (and whether we go to movies or watch them on our computers), genealogists, like everyone else is wrapped up in the tech world to some degree. It is a easy prediction that the number of cell phones will exceed the world population by 2014. Presently, there are about 6 billion cell phone subscribers. Reports from the battlefront between the three tech giants is always news. Today, the news just got a little more interesting.
Microsoft announces that it is buying Nokia. You might have already heard that Microsoft bought Skype and is converting the services to Outlook.com, but now they have spent another $7.2 billion to purchase the Finnish company (Nokia is a company in Finland). This is big news given the spectacularly unsuccessful efforts Microsoft has had to penetrate the mobile phone market with its Windows phones. Microsoft is aiming to triple its market share by 2018. This is entirely possible, assuming Microsoft doesn't stumble and also assuming they can fix Windows 8.
Presently, here is the lineup for manufacturers:
Samsung has about 26% of the cellphone market world wide. Nokia is number two with about 14%, Apple has about 7% with LG and ZTE rounding out the top five.
But the real battle is for the hearts and minds of the people in the area of operating systems. There the picture is more indicative of what might happen in the future:
Android from Google has about 79% of the market. iOS from Apple has about 13% and Windows has about 4%. The rest don't have enough to worry about.
So, will you be using a Windows phone or an Android phone in the future? Would you move from Apple to a Windows phone? Do you care who makes the phone as long as you can use it to make phone calls?
One trend that is making great headway is the move to smartphones. Sales of smartphones now exceed those for PCs. People are buying smartphones (which are really computers) more than they are traditionally configured computers and tablets. I have recently discussed this marked movement from traditional desktop computers to mobile devices. What is happening worldwide is a movement to phablets. No, the word is not misspelled, get used to it. Phablets are smartphones with screens between 5 inches and 7 inches. Predictions are that Apple and the rest of the industry will soon fill this gap in the size of the devices. This is primarily the reason for Samsung's rise as the current king of the cellphone market.
I am already totally dependent on my iPhone and I am not likely to change anytime soon to another brand or operating system. But who knows what will happen in the future? Maybe someone will develop a killer app for genealogy that will have us all buying a new phone?