i more or less agree with the point that smartphones and tablets can only replace the likes of low end point&shoot cameras or the very basic audio MP3 players. but when it comes to serious photography then it will be a long long time before a nokia can replace a SLR !! similarly the ipod is unlikely to yield ground to a mobile phone when it comes to having Gbs of songs and albums. However still the prophecy holds true that the net number of such devices will go down.
In many places tablets have been repeatedly categorised as media devices. Has anybody considered tablets as a content creation device? I am sure this is soon going to happen. For instance, there was this indian tablet making company Notion Ink which introduced a tablet that had the eink display and can be used even under sunlight. It came packed with a set of office based tools. The question is how easy is it to use. Given that it is easy to use tablets for content creation, we could soon see the rate at which tablets are selling to increase.
I would have not expected so many smartphones shipped in the future based on current trends. The reason is that smartphones are too expensive for most people in China where much of the growth is. The smartphone market is China is still less than 10% of the market if I remember correctly.
It might be that tablets etc are cutting into CE devices, but perhaps not.
While CE devices like games, MP3 players and DVD players and such were changing rapidly there was some motivation to get a new one every couple of years. The rate of change has slowed down so now there is no significant motivation to buy a new MP3 player or whatever.
At the same time, tablets etc are changing fast so there is some motivation to get a new one.
These are perhaps independent trends rather than one killing off the other.
I agree with "goafrit" and "Himanshu_Gupta". Multi-function devices are often like Swiss Army knives... a poor functionality knife, a useless can opener and a bunch of other functions all much worse than a dedicated device. People still buy Swiss Army knives because often they are "good enough" at what they do.
As the multi-function products improve they get "good enough" for most people.
Some devices provide features that are very difficult to reach with multi-function devices. For example it is really hard to beat a Kindle (or equivalent) dedicated ebook reader. No tablet can provide a few weeks of reading usage on one charge and none have such a clear screen.
I believe that multitask devices are good until you are not serious about let's say gaming, music, photography etc. I have 5mp camera on my smartphone but i would still love to carry my DSC if i am going on vacation.
I always get a chuckle out of predictions in our industry that show a big future hockey stick, like the dark green line on smartphones. These are the kinds of charts that make investors, or management, pony up the big bucks. But they don't always come true now, do they?
Smartphones are huge and growing rapidly, no question about that. But extrapolation of today's reality into the future is always fraught with peril. Especially in our industry, something usually comes along that very few were expecting or betting on. Some companies (I didn't say Apple) bank on these huge long shots, hoping to create a demand where none existed. Sometimes they prove the charts to be all wrong...