Study: High smartphones sales signal decline in single task products

Remember when the hot tech item was an iPod? Remember how cool it was to get a new digital camera? Well those days are slowly coming to an end if a new study is to be believed. A new press release from the IHS iSuppli market research group predicts that the increase in sales in smartphones and in tablets will also mark a steep decline in the sales of portable electronic devices that are classified as "single task" products; that is, devices that only concentrate on one major job such as portable media players, digital cameras, GPS products and more.

The study predicts that shipments of smartphones will increase to over 1 billion smartphones shipped by 2015. The same study predicts that shipments of tablet devices such as Apple's iPad will increase to 262.1 million units by 2015. By contrast, shipments of media players, digital cameras and GPU devices are predicted to either stay flat or decline during the same time period.

The study uses the example of the portable MP3 player's already slowing sales as an example. It says, " ... the once-ultrahot MP3 player market has commenced an irreversible decline, not because consumers are no longer interested in music, but because other systems, primarily smartphones like the iPhone, also include audio functionality as part of a much broader suite of features." It adds, "In many cases, users can replace a slew of dedicated systems with just one multipurpose device, gaining functionality and portability while simultaneously saving money."

The growing tablet market is also a threat to "single task" devices. The study states, "The story of consumer electronics is an ongoing survival of the fittest, and multitasking systems such as media tablets will have a hand in turning yesterday’s hot consumer electronics gear into tomorrow’s fossils."

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