Monday, November 5, 2007

In Japan, PC Dying and Gadgets Thriving

"More than 50% of Japanese send email and browse the Internet on their mobile phones."
It seems the days of the masses voyaging in a sheep-like herd to the PC store (or Dell.com) every time a new processor with ever more power is advertised by Intel may be coming to an end. This article offers some recent evidence in Japan of a trend toward utilizing hand held devices rather than PC's to fulfill one's computing requirements. It also indicates that gaming is done on gaming consoles such as the PS3, XBox360, and Wii rather than on gaming PC's.

From a search perspective, I believe this trend has major implications. On mobile devices users do not have the luxury of typing queries and receiving millions (or billions) of potential results. So Google, Yahoo, and the usual search suspects are coming out with their new algorithmic "mobile search" offerings. The problem is that on the mobile phone people want THE ANSWER. They don't want a bunch of links - or even one link.

So I suggest watching this trend - as mobile devices increasingly surpass PC's in popularity for performing everyday information access, the search battle will shift from the desktop to the pocket...

1 comment:

Don said...

As an IT Analyst, I spend a high percentage of my time working with end users. I have to agree that trend is towards using smaller devices to meet computing needs. These devices range from sub-compact notebooks, my personal notebook weighs in at less than 24 ounces, to smart phones such as the Trio 750.

With the introduction software such as Microsoft’s Home Server operating system, the PC is fact becoming an appliance to connect a variety of hand held, portable and gaming devices for a diverse set of users, in this case a family. However we have Home Server as a hands off solution for small businesses with limited network requirements.

The greatest advantage I see is the ongoing drop in PC prices and accessories. I expect to see pricing drop in the portable device market as well.

I think Cha Cha’s challenge will be to offer information search access seamless across this range of devices to the diverse community using them!