Thinking of upgrading a desktop PC? Upgrading a Netbook. A 10″ Tablet? Now that Ivy Bridge 2nd-Generation Ultrabooks are here and we’re heading into a period of marketing and competition it’s the perfect time to consider converging to an Ultrabook.
A few weeks ago I turned off my desktop PC. It’s the first time it’s been shut down and disconnected for the 3.5 years that I’ve had it. In it’s place is nothing, until I plug my Ultrabook in. The reason I’m doing this is simple; The Ultrabook is better than the desktop for all but a few use cases.
I’m not a big believer in convergence. It would be nice but on the whole, it’s a stupid dream. Here are five reasons why it won’t happen. You won’t be buying totally converged smartphones.
Marketing – Does anyone think that marketing teams will let this happen? What are the chances of the marketing team saying this to the board: “We have an idea. Lets stop separate MP3 and digicam sales and just focus on selling the converged device. It’s cheaper for the consumer.”
Buying cycle – The chances are that you’ve just bought one of the devices that your converged device includes. 1) Buying something you’ve already got doesn’t feel good. 2) The chances are that the dedicated device is better.
Pricing – The price of the separate items will drop to the point where you can afford to buy a PMP, MP3, EReader. In many cases the price drops to the point where they can be given as gifts.
Physics – There are physical reasons why everything won’t converge onto a smartphone. It doesn’t take much thought to see that.
Advancing Tech – Developing a converged device requires expertise, industry partners and speed. If you don’t get that converged device to market before the next wave of technology comes along then you’re already behind the curve on launch day. Developers of dedicated devices will always be ahead of the curve because they have a more efficient focus.
A slim opportunity
There is an opportunity for a large, dynamic, dedicated smartphone manufacturer to create a single device that 1) does not cut across products that exist in their portfolio 2) is more usable than dedicated devices at the leading edge of technology 3) to reach a big enough scale that the prices can be brought down to ‘no-brainer’ levels.
There aren’t many companies out there that could do this but Nokia is one example. Apple, Samsung, Sony and similar multi-product companies would have problems with this strategy.