Figures at your finger tips

Figures at your fingertips

Forecasting is hardly an exact science, but research into historic trends can provide insight into the direction markets may take. International and local research houses share their predictions of what the future holds.
1 August 2011

Marketing departments to embrace tablets first, says Gartner

Gartner predicts that by 2014, 65 percent of marketing automation vendors will have extended at least a quarter of their functionality to the Apple iPad.

By 2016, half of all major marketing automation vendors will have developed applications specifically for the iPad, says a recent press release.

These figures come from Gartner’s Special Report entitled iPad and Beyond: Enterprise Applications for Tablets, which researches whether tablets are ready to become target platforms for enterprise applications.

Gartner predicts that the rise of tablets in enterprise will begin with existing marketing applications, such as campaign management and marketing resource management.

The earliest adopters of tablets as the primary enterprise device are likely to be CMOs and senior marketing leaders, says the release. This will result from the need for remote access, mobility, efficiency common to these roles.

The report also touches on e-commerce tablet and e-reader applications, saying that by 2014, 95 percent of e-commerce websites will have a tablet or e-reader presence.

Forty percent will fail, however, due to a lack of understanding of the customer’s buying experience needs, says Gartner.

Frost & Sullivan predicts microcar boom for Europe

The microcar market, also referred to as the sub-A vehicle segment, is poised for explosive growth over the next few years in Europe, as vehicle manufacturers (VMs) increase their microcar product ranges to bolster revenue, says research from Frost & Sullivan.

VMs are looking to address stricter emission and safety standards, while consumers are being won over by the implications of lower fuel consumption, pollution, urban congestion and overall cost.

Frost & Sullivan reports that over 60 microcar or quadricycle models are projected for launch in Europe by 2013, and over 19 of these models will come from seven of the top ten VMs.

More than three quarters of the microcar and quadricycle models announced will be battery-powered electric vehicles.

“There is an evident market demand in the electric microcars category, stimulated by the growing needs of Gen-Y end consumers,” says Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Vishwas Shankar. “Greener agendas, government subsidies, parking charge exemptions and possible vehicle homologation rules of ‘no-licence’ required to drive those vehicles could reinforce sales,” he continues.

The release notes, however, that there are challenges to popular adoption of these models, namely ‘range anxiety’ – the fear of being left stranded on long journeys by an inadequately capable vehicle – and limited speeds. Safety is also a concern for new adopters, says Frost & Sullivan.

Sixty-percent growth in daily smartphone internet usage, says IDC

According to IDC’s latest survey ConsumerScape 360°, 40 percent of smartphone users worldwide connect to the internet from their handsets on a daily basis. This represents an increase of 60 percent, from only 25 percent of users a year ago.

The survey reports that in China, two thirds of smartphone users go online from their phones daily, the highest proportion of any country.

South Korea experienced the largest increase in smartphone connectivity, with four times as many users reporting daily online activity compared to a year ago.

Consequently, smartphone shipment growth in 2011 Q1 was fastest in South Korea and China, at 377 percent and 152 percent respectively.

The survey also reveals that mobile connectivity usage is shared mainly between social networking and instant messaging, in almost every country surveyed. These activities have a substitutional relationship, in that countries with high instant messaging usage rates display low usage of social networking, and vice versa.

According to IDC’s consumer market segmentation, the survey reveals that internet access among smartphone users is currently skewed towards ‘Tech Evangelists’ (well-educated, high-income technology enthusiasts) and ‘Impulse Buyers’ (urban dwellers who use their disposable income without seeking advice or testing new devices first).

ConsumerScape 360°, the IDC’s global consumer research programme, is an annual survey of 42 000 respondents from 21 countries, representing the entire consumer electronics market across devices and geographies.