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Our insatiable appetite for data and devices

Our insatiable appetite for data and devices

The recession won’t stop consumers demanding record numbers of smartphones, tablets and wireless technology, according to Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions 2012.

Despite an increasingly dire global economic outlook, people will continue to spend on technology and devices – something Deloitte attributes to Moore’s Law, allowing vendors to offer ever-improving technology for ever-lower prices.

“What’s important to realise is that despite the difficult economic conditions, consumers and businesses are still making significant investments in new technology, particularly those which enrich their lives and make workplaces more productive or enjoyable," saidays Deloitte New Zealand innovation leader Grant Frear.

Deloitte predicts five million extra tablets will be sold to current tablet owners over 2012 as those with large screens downsize to purse or pocket-sized devices. If this prediction pans out, the two-year-old market will have undergone the most rapid market penetration in history.

Big data will also experience rapid growth and market penetration. According to the report industry revenues will be in the $1-$1.5 billion range; 90 percent of the Fortune 500 will likely have at least some big data initiatives underway by the end of 2012.

Telecommunication predictions include a worldwide use of smartphones with a retail price of $100 or less. Deloitte estimates 2012 will see 300 million smartphones sold. The demand is attributed to parents wanting a “starter” phone for children, falling prices and prepaid customers looking to upgrade.

And it projects retail demand growing to over 200 million for mobile devices equipped with NFC, which allows people to transmit small amounts of information between devices over a short distance and will be the driving technology behind the digital wallet of the future. Low power consumption and a limited set-up time mean NFC would outperform Bluetooth, SMS and infrared.

This year more than 80 percent of all wireless short-range traffic and over one percent of wireless data will be exchanged directly between devices, instead of being routed through the internet. Deloitte says the short-range wireless technology to dominate the market will be the one offering the best user interface rather then the best technology.

“What was once seen as a nice to have is now a must have. We are seeing traditional emotional attachment to houses and holidays give way to broadband, mobile phones and PVRs,” Frear says.

The report had previous success in 2011 with 83 percent of predictions coming true.