One of the most interesting things about the beginning period of any year is looking forward to what might happen for the next twelve months. While electronics have been a solid prospect with buyers in previous years some are looking at the current economic conditions and wondering how they will fare for 2009.
Without wanting to jinx anything things don’t look like they will be as bad as people think with electronics remaining on many people’s wishlists for the next twelve months.
Outside of that, what else is likely to happen in 2009? Here are 10 events and trends I think we will see in 2009:
Prediction#1 High definition and high-resolution gadgets will continue to gain in popularity
The high definition TV or an HD camcorder used to be outside of many people’s price range but that has changed. It is now possible to find an HDTV in the sub-US five hundred dollar mark and high definition camcorder for around US$200. It goes without saying that more and more will be buying high definition 1080i TVs, HD camcorders and high-resolution cameras in the coming months as even more mid-ranged products go high res.
Prediction#2 Digital TV will take off
The world is currently in the midst of a digital television revolution. The DTV process started in 2003 and the first wave of countries converted is expected to finish the process between 2012 and 2013. As a result, 2009 is an important year for many countries.
The US shifted from NTSC to ATSC US in February, with other countries being at around the half-way point of their DTV conversion. Not everybody knows the ins and outs of the digital TV standards yet… ATSC, DVB-T, and other digital TV standards around the world are a mystery to many. However, people are actively searching for the televisions Digital TV tuners and DTV peripheral devices and will continue to do so in 2009.
Prediction#3 Projectors will gain in popularity
It used to be that you wouldn’t see a projector in anybody’s house, but technological and manufacturing developments have changed all that. You can now get a multimedia projector or an LCD projector for less than 300 dollars in the US and there are several pico projectors on the market that will fit in peoples’ pockets. Home projector and projector home theater will continue to be popular through 2009 as the projector gets more coverage and consumers make their nests more comfortable.
Prediction#4 Blue Ray will get closer to the mainstream.
The big news on the high definition disc last year was the format wars between Blue Ray and HD. And even though HD had conceded defeat early in 2008 at CES Blue Ray hasn’t really made that much of a splash in the market outside of getting titles and players ready to ship to the populous. 2009 will be the year when almost everybody makes the shift to blue ray.
Prediction#5 Cell Phones will continue to grow steadily in developing markets.
Outside of the release of big-name cell phones like the 3G iPhone and the HTC G1 (the first phone with Google’s long-touted android OS) the cell phone market in the developed world hasn’t grown that much and doesn’t look like doing so. Analysts say this is large because mobile phone markets there have reached saturation point and most people will only be looking for replacement unlocked cell phones now.
That’s not the case in developing nations though where cell phones are nowhere near as commonly seen. In China, cell phones are one of the hot ticket items with no-contract cell phones being the most popular. The popularity of the prepaid phone and the unlocked phone will continue through 2009 and in the foreseeable future.
Most customers wanting to buy unlocked cell phones are looking for phones that give them high degrees of freedom and networks don’t tend to have the data support and features that companies like AT&T and Orange do.
The GSM phone and GSM in general is likely to reign supreme as a result. There will be a new level of importance being placed on the international phone as well, largely because of the wider market. The quad-band phone and quad-band telecommunication device will be an almost essential item for anybody looking for a cell phone wholesale company or China cellphone wholesale source because they want to start a mobile phone business.
Prediction#6 Netbooks with 3G connection capabilities will become popular items.
The trend which started with the Asus EEE for low powered low spec laptop computers suited to surfing the internet and sending emails has taken off. Now people have realized that notebook computers don’t have to come from a brand name supplier and they are actually seeking out cheaper models. As a result, there is going to be an explosion of 3G netbooks this year. Especially since the rise of Linux has reduced dependency on punishment happy Microsoft. Which leads me to…
Prediction#7 Linux will gain ground as an operating system
With China electronics manufacturers making many of the entry-level netbooks they will be looking for ways to reduce cost levels without causing any legal difficulties. As Linux is open-source it doesn’t give them the same level of problems as Microsoft or Macintosh. And as Linux systems become easier to use more people will make the shift, lessening Microsoft’s hold on operating systems.
Prediction#8 WiFi standard 802.11N will finally be released
While Wifi has been gaining popularity like nobody’s business the technology has been less quick to develop. Manufacturers have been making devices to the G standard since 2003 and have been looking for an improvement.
Signs are good that 2009 will see the release of the WLAN 802.11N standard, with the standards group releasing and signing off on drafts all the way through last year. Improvements people think the new standard will make include the end of interference from devices like microwaves and a wider reception from more aerials.
Prediction#9 Solid-state drive computers will appear
Flash storage prices have been falling faster than Motorola’s share values in the last couple of years. As a result, there are lots of USB storage and external storage devices that could store the contents of your computer and have room for seconds selling at very reasonable prices (compared to what they were previously). While the price of SSD isn’t at a low enough position for everyone to have a laptop holding an SSD, they should start to appear.
Prediction#10 People will be on the lookout for solar-powered gadgets and green gadgets
The electronic world will go even greener in 2009. No, we’re not talking about the occasional solar-powered calculator or torch this will be a stronger shift towards things currently known as green gadgets. There can be no doubts there have been leaps and bounds in solar technology with solar panels turning up on everything from bags to the windows of buildings.
In fact, a solar charger and solar battery for cell phones and smaller gadgets have gone from being a rarity to being rather a common place and the number of devices that use solar power or solar energy to keep going has increased tenfold. Solar lights are even turning up in gardens at Christmas now.
Gadgets powered by other forms of alternative energy, like dynamo-powered gadgets, and electronic appliances made with other materials, like the wooden cell phone and iPod re-encased in wood, are turning up.
People are looking for these devices too and you can bet that many solar lights and clean green gadgets will be appearing on many people’s wish list for at least the next year. So there you go. 10 things that are likely to happen in the electronics world.