Despite Record Sales, Tablets and Smartphones Won’t Replace PCs Any Time Soon

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News Posted: Mon, Dec 31 2012 1:20 PM

Although iOS and Android enjoyed record device activations on Christmas day, tablets and smartphones running on these mobile operating systems aren't likely to replace personal computers any time soon. That's not to say tablets and smartphones won't change the PC landscape, however.

According to Forrester Research analyst Frank Gillett, tablets will not kill PCs but, "tablets will force them to evolve." We've already seen some evidence of this evolution with Microsoft's launch of Windows 8. This OS is built with touch controls in mind and also has a similar look and feel as other Microsoft-branded mobile devices such as Xbox or a Windows Phone.

The idea of carrying only a smartphone or tablet on a business trip sounds great to many people. However, most people who have tried this eventually go back to a laptop if they want to do "real work." After all, laptops often offer a larger screen, more processing power, and a more comfortable keyboard than tablets and smartphones.

Although PCs won't be replaced by tablets or smartphones any time soon, PC manufacturers are still likely to struggle during the evolutionary process. With all of the hype surrounding tablets and smartphones, PC sales haven't been as great as some manufacturers had hoped. The state of the economy hasn't helped either, since many companies have put off large PC purchases. As things pick up again, many people expect PC sales to improve. In the meantime, companies such as Lenovo and Samsung that sell devices in multiple market categories—tablets, smartphones, and laptops—have a competitive advantage.

Image Credit: Dell

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eunoia replied on Mon, Dec 31 2012 2:56 PM



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RTietjens replied on Mon, Dec 31 2012 8:08 PM

Thank you, Jennifer, Finally, some sanity.

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Agree with previous commentators ; to paraphrase Mark Twain, rumours of the death of the PC have been greatly exaggerated. Admittedly, one can do serious work with a tablet, so long as it has a docking station and a keyboard, but what is it then but a somewhat less convenient laptop/notebook ? At the same time, the observation that the success of tablets and smartphones will force PCs to change seems both correct and encouraging - the first change I'd like to see is not «touchscreens», which for ergonomic reasons I suspect are a dead end on laptops and stationary devices, but rather affordable screens and monitors that approach the resolutions in ppi that we are now seeing in smartphones and tablets. Can't wait !...


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rapid1 replied on Tue, Jan 1 2013 12:12 PM

This is funny and my six year old is the one who shows it the best, She will play around with the smart phones, she will use my laptop and has no problem with it, she uses the Kindles, but the only time she messes with any of them is when the desktop is not available which tells me everything I need to know especially considering me and Sarah prefer the desktops to for anything more than checking on things or simple task's. So in the end the desktop's are the preferred device across the board!

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johnm replied on Tue, Jan 1 2013 5:52 PM

Tablets have had the biggest market growth in the history of consumer electronics. This is sensational, and saying that they are replacing PCs is not irational, but it might take years for that to happen. Honestly, tablets are great for content consumption, but doing "real work" is not possible, not yet. Just as an example, what is a programmer supposed to do on a tablet? They are great stuff, but not as a complete replacement of PCs and laptops.

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