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HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2011 Seminar
Android Adapts

The growth in popularity of the Android platform since its launch in late 2008 has been nothing short of meteoric.

The success of the platform, a definite rival to Apple's revolutionary operating system, gives consumers an alternative in not just the smartphone category, but also in the burgeoning tablet marketplace as well.

One third of the electronics industry revenue now comes from 'connected devices' according to a recent report from the Consumer Electronics Association. These so-called connected devices - smartphones & tablets, laptops and home entertainment each account for about one third of the fastest growing sector of the electronics market according to Shawn DuBravac, Chief Economist and Director of Research, Consumer Electronics Association as part of his presentation 'Trends and Applications: Smartphone, Tablet and TV at the HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2011.

Mr DuBravac believes that these connected devices are changing how consumers are now approaching the market. The demand for standard television has dropped nearly 20% over the last 12 months while over the same period demand for tablets and smartphones have jumped 20% and 17% respectively. This is not reflective of the end user wanting to replace the main household TV with a tablet, as demand for internet-ready TV is up by 14%.

This merely shows that consumers want flexibility in their products ability to be able to be more than one-dimensional. For example just as it's now industry standard that a mobile phone has a camera, it will be the same for televisions in the near future, the standard will be interconnectivity and 3D features as standard. Consumers want to be able to surf, listen to music, watch videos and make skype calls from their, phone, laptop, tablet or even television- in short, the consumer wants a holistic computing experience.

"We have entered a 'mobile paradigm' where the sales of smartphones and tablets has surpassed desktops and laptops" explains Mr DuBravac, "it's a case of portability versus pocketability." With 69% of users using them more or weekdays and 62% preferring to use them in the evening, it's clear they are seen primarily as entertainment devices. Mr DuBravac research also shows that most tablet users aren't using them outside. The consumer wants portability, they want to use their devices in the living room and then carry them to the bedroom or kitchen, and mainly for leisure activities. Gaming, watching TV shows or listening to music.

What does the future hold for Android-enabled devices? The practical uses of the apps are seemingly endless. The explosion in the number of apps - now numbering over 300,000 - and the ensuing interactivity between android-enabled products opens the field to a number of interesting applications.

For example, it is expected in the next 12-24 months household white goods will feature Android devices thus allowing consumers to interact with these products remotely. From starting a washing cycle to programming a cup of coffee from the machine to suit personal tasted or to cooking a meal in the microwave so that dinner is waiting on arrival at home. What the future holds in practical terms appears only to be limited by the imagination of the Android app developers.