So having looked back at 2011 and largely got it right, we thought we’d do the same for 2012.  2011 was definitely a very interesting year for the Rugged and Mobile market and we’ll see a lot of trends from last year gaining strength in 2012 as well as the emergence of some new, exciting new technology trends that are set to change and rock the markets we operate in.  The continuing recession will still affect and skew 2012 but by and large we’ll see some great stuff happening in our view here!

We’ll do a 10 blog prediction over the next 2 weeks so that we can talk about the trends in a little more depth than we did last year but keep things light at the same time.

Are you ready for a challenging and technology infested 2012!!  Here goes our predictions for a much looked forward to year.

Trend 1 – The rise of the Rugged Tablet

Tablets are a wonderful thing.  I still use my iPad daily, bought on the day the iPad 1 was launched and still my faithful companion I trust, love and burn away hours through it and you know what, it’s great.

In business terms though the rugged tablet is driving screen size, and we heard a lot about that last year and we feel this is not so much being driven by iPads and Angry birds, but more by businesses moving into the next stage of their mobile solution culture.  We saw the same with smartphones and rugged PDA’s.  Businesses played with Smartphones firstly because they were the cheapest and least risky way to spend a small budget on “this mobile thing”  I even heard years ago companies talking about Mobile as if it were something the IT guys had to get out of their systems, but the fact remains that mobile is now the ubiquitous IT solution and we’re all now looking at else it might be able to do.

Rugged PDA’s are great at capturing data.  If you want a barcode or asset tracked and synced regularly throughout the day, then nothing does it better, but businesses are now asking, what else can we do and what opportunities are there in the field to extend our mobile capability.  Tablets allow for data to be pumped back to the users, quickly and in a far more readable way.  They allow for extended usage and data input and then create more of a 1 to many mobile culture set to go into overdrive this year.

Mobile solutions are about to get complex, far more complex than today and the tablet will be at the heart of this evolution.

Motorola got a first in here with the launch of their ET1, 7″ Android tablet.  It’s an interesting product, I think it will evolve and we’ll also see more tablets come from other manufacturers this year as the trend materialises.

Will Android be the choice for the tablet OS?  I’m not sure, there is definitely demand for Windows Mobile or WEH and we heard a birdy tell us to watch out for WP7 too, but I think at the moment it will be a key growth area for Android.

What will the LCD size be?  Well the demand we’re seeing isn’t for 10.1″, but for smaller screens.  5, 6 and 7″ will be the winners in our mind.

Feel free to join in on the conversation, all you have to do is comment below.  We’ll continue tomorrow with trend 2.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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2 Responses

  1. Richard Simmons

    Depends on pricing. We have been developing PocketPC sysetms for stock control for 5 years, in fact we found the memory bug in Mobile2003.

    The main problem we have found is the Motorola machines avaerage 1500 UKP and along with development cost spiral

    Our avarage single user initial module with RUGGED Mobile is 3000.00 and a small user needs to justify this. Subsequent modules are around 500.00.

    It usually works I have just had reports from a Nursery Grower in the South that our plant report system takes 3 hours instead of the old manual 8 hours. If this is carried out once a week thats significant savings

    So if a rugged tablet ir a similar price the added screen size could increase the number of applcation that the unit could be used for

    Yes anything bigger than 7″ and you might as well use a laptop.

    Keep up the good work – Keep em coming

    Richard Simmons
    01939 233666

    • ruggedandmobile

      Hi Richard

      I think there are a few ways to look at this. Tablets seem to be following the same path as Rugged PDA’s followed. There’s the “Branded” ones like Motorola, Intemrec etc which are at the top end of the price scale, but there are lots of far better devices at far better price points. You would be amazed what £500 can now buy you in the Rugged market these days, with brands that have far more flexible and innovative service options.

      At the moment there are very few Rugged Tablets with a mobile OS on them. There’s almost nothing with Windows Mobile or WEH on it, there’s a 5″ Juniper system Mesa but thats expensive so we’rekind of stuck in a Windows 7 world right now. However a lot will happen this year and we’re set to see some nice WM and Android kit at reasonable pricing.

      We’re seeing demand for 5-7″ and you only have to look in PC world or Bestbuy to see this being driven hard too in the “shiny” market. 10″ (iPad size) still has a lot of demand too but its the OS that hampers selection. Its going to be a key battle won for Android if Microsoft don’t get moving. I know Windows 8 has a tablet focussed OS but there’s nothing here yet!

      Laptops generate that Mobile Vs Mobility argument. laptops are like taking something mobile, whereas we see tablets as being a true mobility product. I wish Steve Jobs was still here to explain this better! as he saw this. In a way laptops are like trying to do things in the smae way using new technology, wheares Tablets and Smartohones are the new way you do things. Hope that makes sense. We see no growth in the data capture market and laptops, its all in the PDA’s, Batch Scanners with prgrammable memory and Tablets!