Consumer market, smart phones, smart TVs, social media, slow food
Uncertain conditions in the global economy will likely result in less favorable conditions for the Korean consumer market in 201 1. Current forecasts for world economic growth are around 3.6 percent, which in turn will likely dampen Korea's growth to 3.8 percent, only slightly above average Growth in Korea's exports will slow to the single-digits as the global economy winds down, while growth in facilities investment will drop off dramatically. Prospects for a recovery in construction investment also appear dim, as the real estate market is likely to remain stagnant. Most importantly, private consumption is unlikely to take up much slack in the economy, as Korea's government is set to rein in stimulus measures in the coming year, while growth in household asset values will slow and interest rate burdens will rise Companies hoping to profit from Korea's consumer market in 2011 will thus need to closely observe trends in Korean consumer needs and lifestyles, and provide products and marketing strategies that allow them to benefit from these trends. To this end, Samsung Economic Research Institute is introducing four keywords that characterize the mood of Korean consumers in 201 1: "Smart," "Social," "Slow," and "Sell."
SMART PLATFORM PROSUMERS
The first trend that businesses can profit from in 201 1 will be the rise to dominance of "smart" devices. This trend, which first appeared in Korea's booming smartphone market in 2010, will show no sign of abating throughout 201 1 as new smart phones with new operating systems appear. Nokia plans to mount a renewed offensive in the Korean market through phones equipped with its Symbian 9 OS, while Google Android 3 and Windows Mobile 7 phones will also compete for market share. Smartphone manufacturers in 201 1 will target broader demographics by introducing low and mid-priced models, while closely adjacent markets like tablet PCs will also grow almost exponentially. Smartphones and tablets are already making a noticeable impact on Korean consumers' daily lives, and will significantly reshape the way Koreans access content in publishing, education, games and movies in 2011.
If 2010 was the year of the smartphone, 2011 may be the year of the "smart TV." As television manufacturers shift focus from hardware to service and content, smart TVs can bridge industries by acting as multi-purpose servers that provide not only stored entertainment but also access to the online world. Today's smart TVs are large and sophisticated enough to do much more than display video, and indeed can function as the keystone of a home's infrastructure and interior design. Such new uses of the television include acting as a picture frame for large format artwork, or photos of family vacations. When playing video, smart TVs can further enhance viewing by connecting to home lighting and air conditioning systems, for an experience that encompasses all five senses.
Smart TVs, as "home servers," can also serve as a hub for household communications by enabling access to content from and to any device, at any time and from any location. With their sophisticated software, smart TVs can provide content tailored to individual needs, while online access can allow smart TVs to function as a social media channel. Smart TVs will enable access to new services like sharing of games and video with friends online, and may be the first device to finally deliver usable and user friendly video calls from the living room.
Indeed, 2011 may be like a "Year Zero" for the smart device industry, as smart devices move beyond their core constituency of early adopters to reach a broader authence. Smart devices are set to transform the lives of consumers toward "smart consumption," and are moving us into a "prosumer" era where users both produce and consume content. In this era, consumers will have higher …