Dell Doesn't Think The Smartphone Will Kill The PC

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News Posted: Sun, May 16 2010 5:13 PM
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.

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Until a smartphone can do exactly what a PC does and more, then it will never cripple them. I don't know about your smartphone, but mine definitely can't run Photoshop or render 720p mp4s.

Maybe I should rethink my grounding. There is a good chance that in the near future that smartphones will be able to cripple portable PC's.

Of course to me nothing can be clear regarding future tech.

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Inspector replied on Sun, May 16 2010 8:57 PM

Well when i can play my full pc games on my smart phone it can replace portable PC's :D

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rapid1 replied on Mon, May 17 2010 1:13 AM

This is a very interesting time to watch all of this happening. Will a Smart Phone replace a PC no. Will a smart phone and a tablet connected to a wireless "Cloud" replace a net book or a laptop, in some cases yes.

Will the Tablet replace the desktop, no, but the laptop may especially in a house in combo with an HTPC, and a tablets/smart phones in combination. The main point here is we will not have less PC's, but more in different forms.

Think about this 10 years ago think of a laptops amount of functionality. Then think of current smart phones tablets etc on a performance level. I would say if they are not above it is almost or in line with them in many aspects. So will a combination oh a smart phone and a tablet especially in a cloud environment replace a laptop for a business customer? The answer is yes in many cases unless they need one which is graphically powerful, and or maybe CPU powerful to a very high level. The thing here is in many cases the number of laptops which fit this specialized avenue in many cases are also specialized laptops.

If everything keeps getting smaller more efficient and more able which it of course is I would say that day on the laptop end especially is not far off. The one thing is display technology here. Unless they move away from needing an LCD/LED/OLED display it at least for now is stuck with much of what we have. When the output changes it enables more. A cell phone 5 years ago had a display which was at max a couple of inches. Now the smart phones have in general between 3-4.5. So you can do more with them.

On top of that you have tablets and e-readers as well as any number of niche equipment. How many people do you know who have 1 PC if they even have 1, then think back 10 years 15 and 20 on the same thing? In relation I have 2 PC's (One I won from this awesome tech site called Hothardware you should check it out sometime), a laptop and two semi, but soon to be full smart phones.

I also have a 3 year old who loves to get on the computer, and can do more than I could on a computer at twice her age with ease. Machines will keep evolving, society in general will do the same. Today the two do some together, and this will change society and the world around it entirely in the next 10 years as it has in the past 10 but at a much greater pace.

Think about this 50 years ago the car had finally come to it's maturity. It had been invented quite some time before that. Most people did not have them, and the only roads were dirt anyway so there use was limited. 20-30 years ago (roughly) the PC became accessible for a general household. The internet was made available to the general public 18 years ago. Relate the two and you will see what I mean especially if you see them as the same type device which is a society enabling machine in many forms.

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M-ManLA replied on Mon, May 17 2010 11:58 AM

He is right. Phones will never replace a desktop PC. They actually compliment them. I would only use certain features on my phone when I am out, but when I am at home, my PC is going to be used.

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