Mobile Computing: Out With the Old, In With the New
When Apple first announced the iPad earlier this year, many critics acclaimed that the device was going to fail, calling it nothing more than an enlarged iPod Touch. However, since April of this year the iPad has had a tremendous success; selling twice as many units on its debut day than originally expected, and has continued to have steady sales a time has progressed. The success of the iPad has been one of the contributing factors in crippling the once-promising netbook market, and has inspired other traditional PC manufacturers to enter the tablet market as well. This has been a major indicator that the focus on tablets by both the PC manufactures and consumers has been increased, while traditional computer systems have been left in the dust.
Today, Gartner – an analytical firm that specializes in the technology field – drew a conclusion that based on the current trends of the PC and tablet markets, 2011 will see higher sales of tablets; sales that will cut into those of PC’s. What does this mean? While PC’s will still have decent sales numbers, the growth of the tablet market will be greater than that of the PC market.
While it’s hard to argue that the tablet market isn’t visibly increasing and expanding, I for one cannot fathom a society in which traditional computers are not of significant importance. Sure, tablets are extremely useful for users who need computing power on the go, but the fact remains that much of what people in professional industries do is on an actual computer. Developers, accountants, business persons, producers, and many other people simply could not do their work on a tablet because it lacks the functionality and processing power needed for productivity.
At the same time, there are many current situations now where people are lugging around laptops and netbooks that offer more power than they actually need. In scenarios such as these, a surge in the tablet industry would increase the mobility of users – students, contractors, traveling sales persons, etc. But at the end of the day, said users would ultimately sit down in front of a computer with a full-fledged desktop operating system in order to attack their large workloads.
When all is said and done however, I don’t think there is going to be a “winner” between PC’s and tablets. The fact of the matter is that most people own one – if not multiple – computers. The fact that fewer people are in need of new computers could easily explain why PC sales are expected to slow. On the other hand, even though tablets have taken off rather quickly, there are still significantly fewer tablet owners than PC owners. With increased competition and lower pricing in the tablet market, as well as anticipation towards what features the 2nd generation iPad will bring, I can very well see tablet sales increasing exponentially, but I am positive that the PC market isn’t going to die any time soon.
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