Now this is interesting. Michael Dell, the CEO of Dell, Inc.
, apparently feels that the smartphone will never kill off the PC, yet he himself has recently invested loads of company funds while breaking into
the already saturated smartphone market. This is also coming from the man who has a 5" Slate PC on the horizon (the Dell "Streak
"), and who has been scaling back desktop manufacturing for months on end.
So, why the mixed words? Well, Michael was caught showing off the slate we mentioned above at the Citrix Synergy user conference in San Francisco, where it was loaded with a "Citrix receiver that allowed him a choice of several desktop environments, as well as native Android apps and social media apps such as Facebook and Twitter." His point was to show that people don't want a new device to rule them all, they simply want varied devices to access the same data. To quote:
"What's converging is the data, not the device. It's not clear that one device replaces another. Some are better for carrying with you. Others are for consuming content, others are better for creating content. There is an application infrastructure growing up significantly around devices like the iPad. Does this create new uses, new demand, or does it replace something else? Seem to me it creates new uses.
When it comes to desktop virtualization, some people say, Dell, you're a PC guy, so you don't want this. But when something comes along that is very valuable for customers, if you stand in the way, you do so at your own peril. Server virtualization, client virtualization -- we embrace them."
Amazingly, it seems as if the head of Dell and the head of Apple agree on something here. At the original iPad launch even, Steve Jobs stated that the iPad was a "third device
." Something that fit in-between the iPhone and the personal computer. Dell tends to agree in that smaller, more powerful mobile devices aren't actually in the running to replace PCs, but to simple provide another avenue of exploration into content. To some extent, we agree. But we still think that hardware convergence is real. Now, no one needs a clock if they have a smartphone. No one needs an MP3 player if they have a smartphone. No one needs a pager if they have a smartphone. The list goes on and on, but sure enough, we can't actually say that no one needs a PC if they own a smartphone. So after all that, yeah Dell, we guess you're right.