IoT & Embedded Technology Blog

Converged Devices Cannibalizing Sales of Stand-alone Consumer Electronics Devices

The consumer electronics industry continues to foster a wide variety of innovations that bring cutting-edge technologies to the mainstream. Mounting demand for internet connectivity, inter-device communication, and device mobility have been the key factors driving this innovation. From televisions and set-top boxes to digital cameras and video gaming systems, the ability to access and share content via the web has become one of consumers’ primary device requirements. Similarly, growing interest in device mobility has fueled momentum behind handheld devices such as portable gaming systems, e-readers, and portable media players.

More than ever, today’s consumer electronics products are capable of serving a wide range of functions. Video game systems can play DVDs and Blu-rays, tablet computers can be used to play music, videos, and games, digital televisions and set-top boxes function as web browsers and media hubs, and so on. In many instances, this convergence of device capabilities has led to surges in demand for certain application classes while cannibalizing sales of others. Mobile phones have frequently been at the center of this phenomenon, as the growth of the smartphone market has in part come at the expense of digital cameras, stand-alone GPS devices, mp3 players, and other single-function products.

VDC believes this trend of device convergence is likely the primary determinant driving the growing adoption of multicore processors in this market, a topic which VDC has been following for a number of years. Clearly, single processor-based consumer electronics devices are on the decline, according to respondents to VDC’s annual Embedded Engineering Survey:

While multiprocessor designs exhibited the largest increase from 2010 to 2011, VDC expects that multicore will ultimately represent the primary architecture embraced by engineers in this space, particularly those developing devices with a broad range of capabilities. However – as VDC has noted in the past – the key question remains: how quickly will this transition take place?

VDC investigates this and other vertical market specific trends from across the embedded landscape in our upcoming report, Vertical Markets & Applications, from our 2011 Embedded Software & Tools Market Intelligence Service. This study will provide an analysis of individual vertical market standards, trends, current and emerging practices, and analysis of select applications within the following vertical markets:

  • Automotive/rail/transportation
  • Consumer electronics
  • Industrial automation
  • Medical devices
  • Military/aerospace
  • Mobile phones
  • Office/business automation
  • Retail automation
  • Telecom/datacom


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