Mobile devices to drive 3D: report

Staff writer
23 Dec 2010

3D may be the next hot trend for flat-screen TVs and pay-TV services, but it’s mobile phones that will make 3D a mainstream success, says a new analyst report.

“Unlike 3D TVs, the mobile category has a fast replacement cycle,” says Victoria Fodale, senior analyst with ABI Research. “This means consumers are more likely to buy a mobile device with 3D in an upgrade purchase much sooner than they would purchase 3D in a larger form factor such as a flat-screened television.”

Currently, notebooks and smartphones are the only mobile device categories shipping with 3D capabilities in specific markets like Japan. But ABI projects that 3D devices – including smartphones, notebooks, mobile Internet devices, and portable game players – will comprise over 11% of the total mobile devices market by 2015.

Another factor working in mobile’s favor, Fodale adds, is that it’s more suitable for emerging 3D technologies that don’t require viewers to wear special glasses. Glasses-free technologies require an optimum viewing distance and a screen size that is better suited for single-viewer applications like those used on mobile devices, she says.

“While there are still challenges with glasses-free 3D on televisions, it is possible on smartphones and other mobile devices,” she says.

ABI also says mobile 3D will be driven by three key apps: user-generated content, content playback and gaming. Some 3D devices will also support the conversion of 2D content to 3D content.

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