Android and iOS Helping Bring About The Downfall of the PC

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Horace Dediu of Asymco used some data published by Jeremy Reimer along with some smartphone stats, updated PC data and Apple numbers from research firm Gartner, and put together a graph plotting the growth history of the PC over the last 37 years. The graph is quite telling, and really hammers home the harsh, almost Darwinian nature of evolving technologies. You can actually see certain "species" of personal computing devices die out, while others continue to thrive. However, it looks like the new "mutants" on the block, the smartphone and the tablet are contributing to the possible extinction of the PC.

    It's interesting to see the sharp rise of the Android and iOS devices as they explode onto the market. In fact, Android and iOS "account for a higher shipment volume than the entire PC industry." It will be interesting to see if ultrabooks help to evolve the PC enough to keep the species alive. If not, then the future may hold some PC/Tablet/smartphone mutation hybrid that we are not yet aware of...

    Source: BGR
     
  2. GeLopez

    GeLopez Member

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    very cool info thanx
     
  3. NoBloatware

    NoBloatware Member

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    There's no doubt that some of the slowdown in PC sales is caused by smartphone and tablet sales. Personally, I've always used a desktop and a laptop. When my last laptop died, I didn't get a new one. My Droid took it's place.

    Another factor to consider is that in the past few years even the cheapest PCs have become faster than most people need. There isn't a compelling reason to upgrade like there was in the past.
     
  4. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Senior Member

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    You know, it's my "day job" to look at research reports, and decimate charts and data like these. Or more accurately, to make sure the author has carefully thought about alternative explanations or relationships between the things being measured. One of the most basic rules in research and data presentation is "If it looks too good to be true..." and I have to say this looks like an excellent example. I think my two first concerns are:

    - what does "thousands of units/year" mean? It sounds good and it's inuititive, but does it control for inflation? Does it control for the fact that a PC in today's dollars is vastly less expensive than a 1980 PC in today's dollars? In other words, relative to other household goods, they have become a lot less expensive.

    - what about U.S. population (sorry are these U.S. or world data?)? To what degree can we change the shapes of these curves by controlling for the number of eligible owners over the last few decades?

    I think what's clear is that when you arrange the y-axis just so, you get an amazing picture: "Wow," says the typical consumer, "it looks like Apple and Android devices have really jumped in at the end and are taking over." I guess to be convinced I'd need to know a lot more about how the data were acquired and whether/how they were massaged. :)

    -Matt
     
  5. liftedplane

    liftedplane Senior Member

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    I hope we get some kind of crazy desktop/laptop/tablet hybrid,

    I just want to be able to build my own still... that's the draw of PC for me. some of the technology now is getting pretty crazy.
     
  6. TheOldFart

    TheOldFart Active Member

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    Correct. That is the main reason why PC sales are not growing as fast as in past years. When I bought a PC for $3000 20 years ago, it was too slow the day I bought it. Now I can buy a PC for $800 that will be fast enough to do everything that I need to do on it for 4 to 6 years. I have no reason to buy one every 2 years any more. This is the main reason why PC sales growth is slowing, not phones and tablets. There is no phone or Android/iOS tablet that can come close to doing what I use my PC for and don't expect that to change in the next couple of years, if even in the next 5 years. Try to run Photoshop on your tablet.

    We have 3 PCs. My smartphone is used for things other than what I use the PC for. I still use my PC for most everything 90%+ of the time. The only thing that I use my phone for that I might otherwise use my PC for is to read books. I can sit in the recliner and read. Even surfing the web is much better on my PC than on any phone or tablet. I think that I have only posted here 1 or 2 times using my phone. All other posts were on my PC.
     
  7. akiles

    akiles Member

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    I agree. The graph does not consider many other things.
    For example, there is already an inventory of pcs. Most people already have a pc/mac/linux at home. These devices have a longer lifespan than a phone.
    Pcs are not "fashionable." Some people replace phones more than once a year -at my office, there is one individual that went from an iphone, to an at&t droid to the razr within 1yr. Just becuase it's cool.
    You are more likely to drop your phone and break it than a pc and that adds to the # of sales (when you replace it.)
    ...and I could go on and on and on...

    But the wost thing abou the graph is the outcome. The author looks at old trends, looks at the rise and fall and assumes that this will happent to the pc as well. Statistics (past trends) don't predict the future: they tell you what has already happened in the past: no more, no less. The best you can do with past data is to extract a probability. And that falls short here as well. I can understand the fall of the comodore because there were probably 5 guys in the planet owning one of those things for a lot of cheddar ($$$$), but now days, most people own a computer and they are cheap. The trends are not similar at all.

    Personally, I think tablets and phones make consumers dumber. And I blame it on Apple: how many times have I heard people saying "I can do everything you do on your pc on my phone, and my ipad." ...sure. Then the next sucker is standing by listening and rushes to buy a tablet. I've owned a couple of these things and while cool and all, there is just no comparison. They are just toys.

    But maybe I'm just too old and entrenched in my "old ways."



     
  8. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    You guys make some excellent points, and I think that no-one (even the author of this study) would argue that the dying out of the PC markets is "caused" by the growth of Android and iOS devices, but it is also undeniable that it could be a contributing factor. How much of a factor it is, would require a far more in-depth analysis than this researcher performed. Still, the graph was interesting enough to share, if only to visualize how things are progressing. It definitely sparks the mind to wonder what the future of computing devices will look like...
     
  9. captdroid

    captdroid Senior Member

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    The writing is on the wall. Eventually people will simply dock their 'smartphone' for laptop and many also for desktop functionality or use a tablet. So the laptops and desktops as we know today will eventually be replaced by smartphones/tablets and docking stations.