Last night, a crowd of mobile enthusiasts gathered at the National Chengchi University (NCCU) to hear Sascha Pallenberg of Netbook News give a talk and Q&A session on tablets and superphones. In a very calls-it-like-he-sees-it manner, he made some bold predictions based on thorough analysis on netbooks and the latest ultra-powerful smartphones. The excitement was furthered by an announcement for the startup community: Volker Heistermann, whose Yushan Ventures hosted the event, and Vicki Chiu (Project Manager of NCU) declared that NCCU will begin hosting workspace and advisory for startups.
Sascha started off boldly, predicting a tablet bubble come year’s end. Based on current sky-high production numbers, that come Christmastime of 2011, we will have a glut of tablets on the market and prices will drop significantly. Smartphone producers need not worry about cannabalization, though, because he maintained it is still an incredibly strong category, gaining 24% of 2010 marketshare in a very short time (apparently it is the tablet producers that need to worry about the smartphone). The speed with which this is happening and the rate of technological improvement led him to another bold conclusion: console gaming is in serious trouble, noting that at the current rate, we could have PS3 and Xbox360 equivalents in our pockets in just a few years.
Both the rise of the tablet and smartphones are universally good for two companies: Google, whose Android is quickly becoming the king-of-the-hill OS in both spaces, and developers, who are seeing their user bases soar every passing month, on platforms that are incredibly easy to disseminate content.
He ended on several predictions:
- Android will become the single most popular tablet OS. Based on Computex, it seems that Android is the OS of choice for a significant number of manufacturers
- iPad market share sinks to 20%
- Superphones will heavily cannibalize tablets
I had the distinct pleasure of moderating the event, and was honored to share the stage with Sascha. A great time was had and TechOrange is looking forward to following up not only the questions we didn’t get to, but also to learn more about NCU’s exciting incubator announcement!