Within two to three years, at-home gaming consoles will become nearly obsolete, according to Allan Yogasingam, technical research manager at UBM TechInsights, who discussed industry trends with Ottawa's mobile community on Monday.
Cell phone users are often unpredictable in their preferences - screens continue to get larger instead of smaller as previously forecasted; phones are well on their way to replacing traditional cameras and are quickly turning into televisions as well.
"If you told people a few years ago that they'd be happy to watch TV on a four-inch screen, they would have said, ‘Are you kidding me?'" said Mr. Yogasingam.
People now use their phones for multiple functions, the least of which is making phone calls, he said.
Currently, only five percent of Americans own a tablet, and iPads make up 60 percent of those who do. That means there is still enormous potential for tablet sales, with Apple selling 12 million iPads in its most recent quarter and Microsoft announcing its venture into the tablet market on Monday.
Cell phone manufacturers each pay roughly the same amount for the hardware used in their products, which means the real value lies in the software and user experience.
Developers should capitalize on this to create mobile applications for increasingly powerful phones, with chips twice as small as they used to be, Mr. Yogasingam said.
As devices get thinner, cameras sharper and chips smaller, smartphone sales continue to grow exponentially. In 2011, 100 million units were sold globally, according to UBM TechInsights' research. By 2015, that number is projected to reach 630 million, and most will be newer devices within one to two years old.
Mr. Yogasingam spoke at Mobile Mondays, a monthly initiative hosted by serial entrepreneur Rob Woodbridge and Macadamian CEO Fred Boulanger for Ottawa's mobile community.