In time for the holiday season, leading global ICT research and advisory firm XMG released its latest update on “Lifestyle Computing” trends. The research results are based on XMG’s annual study of the Asia Pacific market, namely Australia, South East Asian countries and North Asia, to track new trends on consumer adoption of technology and how technology is adopting to user lifestyle. The 2007 study results show a number of interesting trends worth noting.
The rise of personal-area networking is growing due to richer interfaces in powerful and intelligent personal devices. Over 55% of consumers believe that personal devices can become a replacement for laptops in the years to come. Of this number, 60% also indicate they would rather put their investments in purchasing peripheral and auxiliary devices for their personal devices than for their laptops in the next 3 years despite indications that consumers are still not willing to spend infinite amounts of money on technology in the consumer technology market.
With the introduction of the Apple iPhone in 2007 and the eventual entry to Asia Pacific, user-centricity has reached new levels, setting the stage for other technology firms such as Nokia, Palm and Samsung to follow. Attributes of user-centricity rated high by consumers included pervasive availability, diversity and richer interfaces, enhanced personalized experience, simplicity and innovation. “As human beings, we simply need to always be connected,” said Glaiza Veluz, Research Analyst for XMG. “Our studies of consumer behaviors have shown that 9 out of 10 people do not mind having technology run rampant and moving through their lives so long as they can stay connected”. Veluz continues to add, “Success of devices comes down to making life simpler, meaningful and enjoyable in some way, rather than making life more complex such as having the need to lug around a laptop”.
Other notable trends include a drastic drop in consumers’ tolerance of less reliable devices. A stark contrast to last year’s results, the study showed that consumers are more than ready to upgrade or dispose of their devices within 6 months of purchasing the product. In 2006, consumers were willing to live with their devices for about 1 year before finding a replacement. “Consumers will no longer accept complexity and instability with their devices,” added Veluz.
As the lifestyle computing trends continue, the lifestyle shift will challenge everyone. As the lines continue to blur between personal-area space and work-area use, the study also showed ongoing challenges faced by companies in managing these devices within their organizations sighting privacy, security and technical support issues. Since traditional management enforcement techniques have failed to reach a compromise, over 90% of firms indicated they will need to modify their views and policies in supporting personal devices. Work-life balance has also been sighted as an issue as lifestyle computing devices enable workers to work anywhere with their devices. “People are working longer, harder hours because of total global connectivity through their devices, but these are the same people also believe that their personal area devices are also working more for them,” added Veluz.