An anonymous reader writes "The PC's role in Japanese homes is diminishing, as its once-awesome monopoly on processing power is encroached by gadgets such as smart phones that act like pocket-size computers, advanced Internet-connected game consoles, digital video recorders with terabytes of memory NEC's annual PC shipments in Japan shrank 6.2 percent to 2.72 million units in 2006, and the trend is continuing into the first quarter of fiscal 2007 with a 14 percent decline from a year earlier. Sony's PC shipments for Japan shrank 10 percent in 2006 from a year earlier. "The household PC market is losing momentum to other electronics like flat-panel TVs and mobile phones," said Masahiro Katayama, research group head at market survey firm IDC. "Consumers aren't impressed anymore with bigger hard drives or faster processors. That's not as exciting as a bigger TV," Katayama said. "And in Japan, kids now grow up using mobile phones, not PCs. The future of PCs isn't bright.""