Predictions for an Active 2015 in Tech Universe ; Research Firm Says China Will Soar, While Shifts to the Cloud Will Accelerate

By Lohr, Steve | International New York Times, December 4, 2014 | Go to article overview

Predictions for an Active 2015 in Tech Universe ; Research Firm Says China Will Soar, While Shifts to the Cloud Will Accelerate


Lohr, Steve, International New York Times


The research firm IDC predicts that 2015 will see an ever-faster shift to cloud, mobile, social and big data technologies.

In the year-end predictions game, most technology forecasts tend to be either blue sky or boring, flights of imagination or a firm grasp of the obvious.

For the last several years, the technology research firm IDC has published forecasts that generally avoid the pitfalls of the genre, and offer a useful framework for thinking about the trajectory of technology trends. Its predictions for 2015, published Tuesday, come as a 17-page report rich in data and analysis.

Beyond the detail, a couple of larger themes stand out. First is China. Most of the reporting and commentary recently on the Chinese economy has been about its slowing growth and challenges.

"In information technology, it's just the opposite," Frank Gens, IDC's chief analyst, said in an interview. "China has a roaring domestic market in technology."

In 2015, IDC estimates that nearly 500 million smartphones will be sold in China, three times the number sold in the United States and about one-third of global sales. Roughly 85 percent of the smartphones sold in China will be made by domestic producers like Lenovo, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE and Coolpad.

The rising prowess of China's homegrown smartphone makers will make it tougher on outsiders, as slowing growth and profits of Samsung, based in South Korea, recently reflect.

Other predictions: More than 680 million people in China will be online next year, or 2.5 times the number in the United States. And the China numbers are poised to grow further, helped by its national initiative, the Broadband China Project, intended to give 95 percent of the country's urban population access to high-speed broadband networks.

In all, China's spending on information and communications technology will be more than $465 billion in 2015, a growth rate of 11 percent. The expansion of the China tech market will account for 43 percent of tech-sector growth worldwide.

Another theme in the IDC report is the quickening pace of the move from older technologies to new ones. Overall spending on technology and telecommunications, IDC estimates, will rise by a modest 3.8 percent in 2015. Yet the top-line numbers mask the trends beneath. …

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