2012: smart terminals' time to shine

Academus Tian
20 Dec 2011

For years, conventional wisdom has dictated that one view the ICT industry from the systems side. This method of thinking will, along with other changes brought about by what is now being called the “post-PC” era, undergo a fundamental change in 2012.

With the dawning of the New Year, emerging wireless internetapplications and intelligent terminals will become the new focus of the industry.

The personal computing market, too, will be impacted by this shift. At present, personal computing mainly includes social networking applications, gaming and email, all of which are migrating toward intelligent terminals. The PlayStation Vita, Sony’s new handheld gaming console, for example, is available in a 3G version. In addition, it has changed from being fundamentally a disc software-based gaming device to console that can download games online and be used for a variety of other personal applications.

In spite of holding a hefty market share in the area of personal applications, personal computing is experiencing slack growth in the broader market. The fast grower is, not surprisingly, intelligent terminals. In the enterprise-level application market, whether intelligent terminals can assume the role that has always been dominated by personal computing is a question of crucial importance. Based on research, it is reasonable to assume that at least 70% of current commercial application users can completely move their work platform from PC to intelligent terminals. When this change eventually kicks in, it will signify a holistic transition to the post-PC era.

More and more, indicators are pointing to a shift to intelligent terminals. At the beginning of this year, the US Government allowed the iPad to be used to replace traditional print versions of flight assignments and manuals in the civil aviation industry. Shortly thereafter, United Airlines purchased 11,000 iPads, which were distributed to pilots for use during flights. In November, DELL tablet computers passed rigorous tests and were purchased and adopted by the U.S. Department of Defense. Successful pioneering practices in these extremely demanding environments show that in the post-PC era, intelligent terminals can be securely applied in many fields.

Mobile broadband networks are expanding and more commercial application enterprises such as Salesforce.com are being created based on cloud computing technologies. Based on these trends, it is reasonable to conclude that 2012 will see more companies cutting back on personal computer in favor of intelligent terminals. The year 2012 will mark the first-year of large scale adoption of intelligent terminals in commercial fields.

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