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15 Tech Trends to Emerge by 2014

Trend 6: The mobile "chip wars" will continue, with ARM maintaining its dominant lead over all other architectures. But by 2013, Intel (INTC) will capture a significant portion of the tablet and larger form-factor mobile-device market (greater than 25%), mostly on non-Windows enabled platforms. Nvidia (NVDA - Get Report) will gain market share in higher end devices against ARM-based rival Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report), as graphics becomes a differentiating capability, while Texas Instruments (TI) gains in the mid-market, and other volume players continue to push capabilities into lower-end devices.

Trend 7: Despite an intense short-term push by major carriers to enhance their networks with 4G capability (e.g., LTE, WiMax), it will be at least two to three years before the majority of the networks are upgraded to full coverage across all points of presence. During this period, users will need to purchase 3G-enabled backward-compatible devices and modems to maintain a reliable connection. Despite slower speeds, the 3G-connectivity option will provide a valid way for users to connect and access company assets with limited degradation of user experience. WiFi will be ubiquitous in devices and remain an important access method for the foreseeable future despite increasing availability of 4G.

Trend 8: Internet browsing will evolve from a browser as component of a higher level OS, to a browser as the primary function of the device. This "glass browser" model will become increasingly popular as more services move to the cloud and software as a service (SaaS) becomes a larger component of business use. Current PC manufacturers will be required to move to the "glass browser" marketplace with product by 2013. While Google's Chrome will represent a significant portion of this market, we expect to see competing "glass browser" implementations from Apple, Microsoft (MSFT) and others, with no dominant player emerging in the short term.

Trend 9: Laptops will remain a significant force in the business community, with users valuing their ability to work off-line and on complex tasks. By 2013, they will increase market share over desktops and represent 65% to 75% of corporate PCs. However, by 2014 to 2015, we expect alternatives (e.g., tablets and "glass browsers" connected to the cloud) to reduce the total number of PC users in businesses by 20% to 25%, making it cost-effective for companies to deploy "lighter" mobile-computing devices to those users/functions who could not justify the cost or complexity of a PC.

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