Consumers want converged devices with an eye on usability

Today's converged smart devices are able to take the place of a mobile phone, a computer, a GPS device, a digital camera, and a camcorder for many users.

InformationWeek reports that about 40% of consumers in the U.S. plan to make a mobile device purchase in the next three months. That large number of consumers is looking for a single, converged, device to fill a wide variety of needs.

According to the survey conducted by Data Development Worldwide, the gadgets at the top of the consumers' want lists are in order:  smartphones, ultra-light notebooks, full-size laptops, GPS devices, and netbook computers. The desire for a converged device opens a big market for companies reports InformationWeek.

The problem is that many companies are looking to move into new markets and they may be doing so without knowing the market well. One example cited by InformationWeek is Nokia. The company knows how to compete in the smartphone market, but if it moves into the netbook market it will be competing with HP, Acer, Lenovo, Dell and all the other well established computer makers.

Chip Lister from Data Development Worldwide said, "Growth strategies often do not take into account consumers making tradeoffs across different device categories. It is essential that marketers ensure they have data that can identify which products and brands are potential substitutes rather than set up a design around preconceptions of how the market is structured."

The big caveat for consumers according to the survey who are shopping for converged devices is that the device is expected to have a good user interface and good implementation. The iPhone 3G S is one of the converged devices that is cited as an example of a good converged product.

Lister continued saying, "Just because technology makes a capability possible doesn't mean the consumers will value it. The device with the right mix of capabilities delivered at the right price point is going to win in this market."

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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