Why Care About Networked Consumer Device Platforms?

by Luke Wroblewski July 31, 2009

For digital product designers, networked consumer device platforms are here now and growing:

  • 50 million Blackberry devices(not sure how many of them were true smart phones) sold (source)
  • 26.4 million iPhone smart phones sold (source)
  • 18 Android phones are due to come to market this year (source)
  • 25,000 Palm Pre smart phones sold (source)
  • 14.6 million netbooks were sold in 2008 (source)
  • Recent data indicate that the number of netbooks sold in 2009 will be roughly double the number sold in 2008 (source)
  • 206 million iPod media players sold (source)
  • 18.6 million iPod Touch media players sold (source)
  • Amazon Kindle media player sales "very strong" (source)
  • 51.5 million Nintendo Wii consoles sold. (source)
  • 22.7 million XBOX 360 consoles sold. (source)

In addition to the numbers, the market is increasingly tuned in to the trend toward networked consumer device platforms. Consider the conversation at Microsoft's recent analyst meeting about "the convergence/divergence between mobile devices and PCs":

"Wall Street analysts attending the July 30 confab had a number of questions about how Microsoft intends to address the new CPU and GPU architectures that are emerging in all kinds of mobile devices, ranging from phones to netbooks. Up until now, Microsoft has maintained a clear division. Mobile phones run Windows CE/Windows Compact at the base level (with the Windows Mobile environment layered on top). PCs run Windows. But the Windows and CE lines have been starting to blur — and the effects are being felt not just by Microsoft, but by its competitors, as well."