Convergence of Screens

By on December 12, 2012
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Will there ever be one screen to rule it all?


It was at GITEX Technology Shopper week in Dubai a month back when my wife, like every other bargain hunter, decided to use GITEX as an opportunity to look for the best deals on TVs. The demands from our ideal TV were very simple: a 46 inch LCD at around AED 2,000. Interestingly enough, all of the GITEX salespeople had a different take on “ideal”. They started bombarding her with all these sheets and brochures, trying to upsell her to a LED TV for AED 4,000 or better yet, a SMART TV so we could potentially surf the internet and watch YouTube and with a price tag of AED 6,000.

Looking for an opinion, she found me in the venue and asked – ‘Between the two of us, we have two Smart Phones, two Tablets and three Laptops and yet, why would I want to surf the internet or watch YouTube on the TV??? I just want a TV for the occasional desire to watch a TV show or a movie on a big screen from the comfort of my couch.’

It was this question, which upon reflection formed the basis of this blog. Our activities have become increasingly visual – we surf the internet, read the news, watch videos, look at photos of friends, update our social media status, play games etc. And we find ourselves immersing in all these activities on a variety of screen sizes.
Furthermore, our smart phones have all our contacts with whom we communicate with on a frequent basis. Our tablets have all our apps and games that we enjoy either when in the metro or for an hour before bedtime. Our laptops store all our work related emails and numerous worksheets and presentations. And finally, the TV is to watch our favorite sitcoms and movies.

The cumulative cost of the 4 separate screens is around AED 8,000 (assuming AED 2,000 per device) but I would be happy to pay around AED 4,000 for just one device that combines it all – the screen that rules across sizes. But what would that device be called? The term Phablet, coined from the combination of a Smart Phone and Tablet, is common place and there are a few brands in this space. But will the Phablet replace the phone, laptop, PC and TV?

In my ideal world, this single screen or device would connect to a dumb keyboard and screen at work for me to create content, i.e. make presentations and worksheets and store them in the cloud. At home, this Single Device would connect to a dumb TV terminal and transform into a media hub for when we want to read the news, play casual games or stream TV shows from the internet. It would simultaneously serve as our communication device for when wish to talk to friends or send a SMS.

I imagine a screen size of around 5 inches for the Single Device that I envision – one might say that current smartphones are already there. However my counter argument would be that the existing crop of smartphones is not powerful or standardized enough to be used to create content. The current range of smartphones and tablets are primarily for consuming content while the PC remains the de facto device to create content.

Manish Punjabi, Marketing Manager (META) at AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

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