Canadians to buy smartphones, tablets over PCs: Deloitte report

Canadian consumers and enterprises are shifting away from traditional computing devices like the PC, and toward a variety of tablets and smartphones. At least that’s what international accounting and consulting firm Deloitte has predicted in its 2011 global Technology, Media & Telecommunications report.
“Probably the biggest change for this year for consumers is the need to choose which device to buy; For enterprises, the question is which devices to support,” Richard Lee, head of TMT for Deloitte Canada, stated. He said that buyers have to decide on if to buy a tablet, and if so, which one. As well, corporations want to know if they should standardize on one smartphone platform or support multiple devices.

The most significant Canadian TMT trends in 2011, according to Deloitte:

  1. Smartphones and tablets: Fewer than half of all computers won’t be computers anymore
  2. Tablets in the enterprise: They’re now more than just a toy
  3. Operating system diversity: No standard in sight on either smartphones or tablets
  4. Social network advertising: How big can it get?
  5. Television’s “super media” status strengthens: Traditional hegemony is not significantly undercut by online video
  6. PVRs proliferate: However, viewers still watch commercials
  7. Push beats pull in the battle for the television viewer
  8. What’s “in-store” for Wi-Fi: Retailers provide Wi-Fi to encourage in-store product comparisons so they don’t leave the store
  9. Getting to 4G cheaply: Will many carriers opt for 3.5G instead? The proliferation of new computing devices doesn’t mean that we need new networks
  10. Wi-Fi complements cellular broadband for “data on the move”

Offering computing that can be more affordable, connected, mobile, pervasive, reliable, useful and fun, tablets and smartphones offer many advantages over the “one size fits all” approach of PCs. Plus, they can also be used in many different environments by both adults and kids.

Given the vast differences, however, enterprises and consumers will now be faced with the new problems associated with buying, replacing, managing and supporting these new, desperate tools. Nevertheless, Deloitte expects individuals and organizations to find solutions to these problems because the prevalence of these devices is only going to increase for the time being.

Lee also mentioned that, while the computing market is exhibiting major changes, TV still remains top. “While the plethora of new options will drive change, some things will stay the same. Despite the introduction or adoption of devices like personal video recorders (PVRs), over-the-top television boxes or alternate forms of video entertainment, traditional TV remains overwhelmingly popular with viewers and continues to command the best ad rates of any media sector. It looks like the future of TV―at least for 2011―is TV.”

Deloitte’s predictions will be showcased in an eleven-stop cross-country TMT Predictions road show series over the next couple weeks: Toronto (January 18); Montreal (January 19); Quebec City (January 20); Ottawa (January 21); St. John’s (January 24); Halifax (January 25); Winnipeg (January 26); Saskatoon (January 27); Edmonton (January 28); Vancouver (January 31); and Calgary (February 1).

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