Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

PC Era Forecasted To End In 18 Months 449

dcblogs writes "In a historic shift, shipments of smartphones, tablets and other app-enabled devices will overtake PC shipments in the next 18 months, an event that may signify the end of the PC-centric era, market research firm IDC said. IDC said worldwide shipments this year of app-enabled devices, which include smartphones and media tablets such as the iPad, will reach 284 million. In 2011, makers will ship 377 million of these devices, and in 2012, the number will reach 462 million shipments, exceeding PC shipments. In 2012, there will be 448 million PC shipments. One shipment equals one device. PC sales will continue to climb, but will no longer rule."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

PC Era Forecasted To End In 18 Months

Comments Filter:
  • I dunno, man (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @02:26PM (#34476820) Homepage

    Even if smartphones and such sell more than their larger counterparts, I still don't see it happening that quickly. There's still a lot to be said of the experience of using a "PC" rather than an "app device", regardless of the equal or disparate capabilities between them.

    An example is writing...I'm not going to write on a bluetooh-keyboard-connected iPad for the same reason I wouldn't write on a netbook or a laptop; I need to feel centered, to feel like "OK body and mind, we're sitting down, and we're writing." I don't see being able to duplicate that feeling with an "app" device.

  • Developer soup (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iONiUM ( 530420 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @02:27PM (#34476850) Journal

    While I'm all for new technology, we're also entering an era I like to call developer soup. Maybe I just coined that. In any case, there's no good way to target all the platforms anymore. You might argue HTML5, but really only Chrome is useful for that (right now), and many do not run Chrome. Many in fact, still use IE6/7/8 at corps.

    It kind of stinks, because before you could make an app for one platform and hit a lot of targets, but not anymore.. Android, iOS, BBOS, Windows, Linux, Mac, MeeGo, the diversity is difficult, at best, if you want an all encompassing app. Ah well, I guess HTML4 for now, HTML5 in 18 months.

  • Re:Oh happy day (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RabbitWho ( 1805112 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @02:29PM (#34476864) Homepage Journal
    Right.. I feel like complaining about the fact that smart phones and ipads etc. ARE personal computers.. but then someone will punch me in the face.
  • by Sonny Yatsen ( 603655 ) * on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @02:29PM (#34476870) Journal

    Until smartphones and tablets displace the PC in being the platform where most of the work is done, I don't consider the PC Era to be over.

  • Re:Hype (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GiveBenADollar ( 1722738 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @02:32PM (#34476914)
    I for one have three bikes at home and only two cars, does that mean that the era of the car is over at my house? I really tire of these slanted news articles that crumble with the slightest application of common sense.
  • by Stregano ( 1285764 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @02:33PM (#34476950)
    Tell that to the 10mil+ subscribers of WoW. With the new expansion getting released, WoW players are going nowhere. Tell the pro Starcraft players that as well. The average consumer doesn't use their pc much anyway, and most of that can be handled through their ps3 or phone now, so they might stop using it alot less.

    What about college students? So, how are they going to type up their exams now. On a smartphone? I think it would be absolutely horrid to write a thesus using a phone. Ouch.

    18-months? Really?

    Now, I consider myself an avid pc gamer, and I have no plans to move away from that anytime soon, plus the 6 cores are starting to roll out in larger numbers. 3-D technology is getting implemented more and more into PC's (I believe it is NVidia who is doing a bunch of stuff with it).

    The thing is that PC's can do so much more than a smartphone, and PC's are upgradable (not just software, but hardware) and it won't void your warranty (well I guess if you buy a PC from Dell or something it might since I don't know the rules with pre-made machines). The point is that as pc's evolve, you can easily evolve and adapt with the times by upgrading your PC. To do this with a smartphone means that you need to buy a new phone. Not all that smart if you ask me
  • Re:Oh happy day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anthony Mouse ( 1927662 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @02:34PM (#34476974)

    Don't get your hopes up. They're talking about shipments, not installed base.

    People pretty much stopped buying new PCs once they had a Core 2 Duo or faster. It isn't that no one is using PCs anymore, it's that no one is buying a new one because the old one is still plenty fast.

    Incidentally, you can expect the same thing to happen in phones in a couple of years. Once you have a phone which is fast enough to play video and has a battery that lasts all day, the biggest improvements are going to come as software update and you won't care about the hardware any more than you currently care whether you have a 2.6GHz CPU vs. a 3GHz CPU -- both are fast enough to do whatever so nobody cares anymore.

  • by billcopc ( 196330 ) <> on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @02:35PM (#34476988) Homepage

    This is such an idiotic statement. There are already far more cell phones sold, smart or not, per year than PCs, and this has been true for nearly a decade. These phones are being replaced with "app-enabled devices" because it's getting nearly impossible to get a plain old phone - they just don't make them anymore. Even the $0 freebie has some sort of smartphone-like functionality. Hell, my old MotoRazr from 2004 had apps! Shiit Java apps, but still...

    The day you can sit down at an "app-enabled device" and professionally write software, code a business-class web site, edit video, design a mechanical blueprint, and play WoW, well that might be the end of the PC era. For now, and the next 10 years at least, we just have a lot of fussy gadgets.

  • by johnlcallaway ( 165670 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @02:38PM (#34477042)
    Please mod up!!! If I need a full size monitor and keyboard in order to work 8 hours, I'd rather have a 'desktop' to begin with. My setup has two monitors, and a REAL keyboard and mouse, not the toy ones on most laptops, and I can't even begin to imagine the carpel tunnel and thumb pain that would skyrocket if iPads and such became work devices for people who type and use a mouse all day long, like developers and admins.

    The era of the PC can't be over anyway, the mainframe era hasn't ended yet.....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @02:55PM (#34477282)

    > What about college students? So, how are they going to type up their exams now. On a smartphone?

    I think you're missing the point here. The smart phone will *become* their PC. For typing up papers, yes, they'll have a wireless bluetooth keyboard and monitor. The smart phone stays in your pocket, and when you need those peripherals, you'll just sit down next to them. The computing device itself will be mobile, always with you.

    And mobile devices are getting increasingly powerful, and will soon be able to run advanced 3D games. The point is, people don't want to be tied down to one physical location any more, and that's what's going to change.

    Having said that, I agree that it won't be over in 18 months. I think for at least 5 more years, PCs will be a big market force. But their era *will* come to an end, just like so many before it.

  • Re:Hype (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hijacked Public ( 999535 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @03:02PM (#34477402)

    Slashdot makes this same mistake every single time a story like this goes on the front page. Every time.

    The report is from a marketing firm. Their audience is other marketing types who make reports to business types. That lot is concerned about growth because growth is where they can make money. Selling things in markets that are growing faster than competition can enter, which means profit margins can stay comfortably high.

    Once growth falls off and capacity catches up, things get competitive. Margins dwindle and the kinds of companies that pay people to read marketing reports can no longer survive.

  • Re:Hype (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rezalas ( 1227518 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @03:11PM (#34477572)
    Not to mention PC just means Personal Computer, which is what phones are becoming. I wouldn't say that the PC will ever die, but new hardware trends will emerge over time and old technologies will be overtaken by newer more efficient ones. The Modern Desktop (what they call a PC) is a far cry from what it once was in the beginning and is hardly recognisable in some forms. The truth is that we're moving closer to having one set of portable PCs (smart phones) and a non-portable home-based central network (the Desktop) that controls all of your media. This might be the modern desktop, a new derivative, or it might be the xbox360/PS3 two more generations down the road. But to say that the 'PC' is dead or it's era is coming to an end is short sighted at best.
  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @03:25PM (#34477760) Homepage Journal

    Right.. I feel like complaining about the fact that smart phones and ipads etc. ARE personal computers

    If applications for a computing device need the device manufacturer's approval before they will run, I call the device an "appliance", not a computer. For example, Apple iDevices are appliances. So are video game consoles and Android phones on AT&T. On the other hand, other Android devices are computers, as are Nokia N900 phones and desktop and laptop PCs.

  • Re:Hype (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shadowfaxcrx ( 1736978 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @03:27PM (#34477802)

    Thank you.

    Of course non-PC devices are selling faster than PC's right now. Almost everyone already has a PC, so there isn't a large group going out in the same time period to buy one. The same can't be said about tablets and smartphones.

  • Re:Hype (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @03:42PM (#34478070)
    The car era will never be over because it's really hard to make out in the back of a bicycle. Likewise, the PC era will never be over because it's really hard to fap to a video on a 4 inch screen.
  • Re:I dunno, man (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CornflakeJustice ( 1733128 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @03:42PM (#34478076)
    That's actually pretty reasonable. App devices are designed for function, but they tend to be oriented towards quick bursts of something. EX: iOS games are largely built to be a quick serving here, a quick serving there. But sitting at a desk to work just 'feels' more like you're doing something to be productive. I love my fancy app infested phone, if I have a moment of brilliance and self actualization I can make a quick note on it, but if I want to really expound on that idea a workspace is better suited towards actual working.

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard