Was reading this summary of last week’s Consumer Electronics Show. Saul Hansell underlines the fact that every new device shown at CES “is becoming a computer connected to the Internet. ” Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony, even predicted that “In two years, 90 percent of all Sony products will connect to the Internet”.
Hansell offers a major insight: “If the most exciting thing about your phone or truck or TV is the Web sites you go to and the software applications you download, then the device itself is less important.” He continues: ” Increasingly what will differentiate one TV from another is the software it runs and the Internet services it connects to.”
Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, chief executive of Nokia, quoted in the same article said: “For a long time, our business was defined as cellphones. Hardware is not enough. We need to have a wider array of services and content. This is a major change for us.”
Jong Woo Park, the president of Samsung’s digital media business, said: “In the next five years, we are not only going to provide hardware, but content through our devices, in an easy, more convenient way. TV is no longer just TV. TV is interactive TV these days. You will use the same TV and the same remote control, but have completely different functionality.”
What it means: as they all realize they need something to differentiate themselves, electronic device manufacturers will be hungry for content and software functionalities in the next three to five years. Content providers will need to watch out for this new trend and try to measure the installed base of a wider variety of electronic devices. But context will be key (screen size, navigation device, etc.). By the way, a television could be a wonderful local search device if executed correctly! It’s also an amazing social network!