Convergence Ushers In New Economy
During the six years that the iPod has been on the market, those of us in the consumer electronics industry have witnessed a business phenomenon: an entire industry born from the popularity of one device.
The success of the iPod has given way to what is now known as the “iPod economy,” a veritable, multi-billion dollar concern all relating to the production, distribution and consumption of iPod-related goods. As the iPod economy has flourished, so too have consumers’ appetites for new gadgets that deliver unparalleled experiences. Expectations for that experience have shifted from the ability to play music and watch movies to a device that also allows for mobile communication and real-time services.
While the concept of convergence has been around for many years, this year promises to be a pivotal one for the CE industry. It’s the first time that all of the critical pieces of convergence-devices, content and accessories have convened to deliver a true industry game-changer in portable devices. According to International Data Corp. (IDC), the potential for the “convergence economy” is enormous: Converged mobile device shipments topped 80 million in 2006, a 42 percent increase over 2005, and continued growth is expected this year.