The Information Technology industry is passing through a phase of convergence where most of the major players in the sector, especially in the U.S., are increasingly trying to capture the market for electronic gadgets too. The advent of the iPad and the tilt of consumers’ interest towards smartphones has shaken up the entire industry. Tablets and smartphones have caused a decline in the sales of personal computers and laptops, and this has impacted all companies that produce components for software. Behemoths such as Microsoft, Dell, HP and Intelare feeling the heat. Spare-parts manufacturers in countries such as Thailand, Taiwan, and China are also facing a decline in sales.
The two clear winners, however, are Apple and Samsung, while Google is doing well owing to its web-related businesses. In the electronics sector, Samsung and LG are the major players, while Sony, Panasonic and Sharp are dealing with huge losses and layoffs.
These are some of the trends that may take shape in the near future:
Diversified companies in gadgets: Companies such as Amazon that have a presence only in the tablet market may find the going tough in the long run compared with diversified players such as Apple, Samsung and Google.
Innovation in television: Innovation in the industry may stagnate after a few years similar to the automobile industry where most of the innovation is happening in non-mechanical engineering related areas.
TV screens: Within a few years, TV screens may not exist. Instead, we may get thin filaments that we can cut as per our requirements. Even tablets and phones will just be thin sheets.
PC and laptop sales: The sales of PCs and laptops will be hampered further by the push of mini-tablets and phablets.
Stock markets: Stock markets will take notice of the downloading of apps and various software from online Apple or Google stores.
Keyboards: The keyboard may become extinct and with them their manufacturers.
Shift to medical devices: More devices that can be worn and provide instant data will be available. At present, devices that measure sugar levels, temperature, heartbeat and blood pressure are available. In future, this will get extrapolated to blood analysis, pulmonary and other kinds of data. Devices that can help one exercise, especially within homes, will also increase manifold.
Wireless charging: This is one of the most promising areas for the tech industry, as well as in day-to-day life. Right now, wireless charging has been introduced in mobiles and, in the future, it can have a large impact, especially on electricity as a fuel.
The software industry will have to adapt itself in the future owing to these trends that will have a far-reaching impact on many business environments. The companies that are agile will survive and the rest will become obsolete.
(The author is an avid blogger who writes on technology.)