From Barron’s a few weeks ago:




Source: Barron’s

Category: Digital Media, Markets, Technology, Think Tank

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One Response to “By the numbers: The Demise of PCs”

  1. econimonium says:

    Barron’s, a veritable font of technical knowledge! (/snark) How about a rational, reality-based view of the situation. The PC market is different from the tablet market is different from the smart phone market. Period. Let’s walk this through remembering that I’m the CEO of a SaaS-based company. The PC market was so big for so long because…there weren’t any alternatives. Let that sink in for a moment. Everyone, no matter how much or little you used a machine needed the one-size-fits-all PC. From my mom, to my brother, to me. Did each of us have the same use for one? Never. But it was the only option.

    Now there are several options. Don’t really use most of the capability of a PC, or complicated programs? Just want to write an occasional note, check email, send a picture, browse or consume media? Then your market is actually a tablet type device and always was. Want to check your email on the go, take quick pictures, get directions because you travel, quickly read messages, quickly look at photos, chat, and do other things while moving as well keep in touch while mobile? Then you need a smart phone too. Owning one of these devices, btw, does not mean you don’t need the others either. In fact, I’d say that most people have a smart phone in addition to either of the other devices just because of marketing if for no other reason (think about apps. I have like 50 on my phone and use about 5 with any regularity).

    So the reason you see a decline in the number of PCs is that the innovation cycle is longer now, people are more mobile so buying fewer desktops for the home, and there’s an entire percentage of the old PC market that really never needed them in the first place, and now buy tablets because they are easier (my mom). Then you have people that like to keep connected on the road but don’t really consume media other than in traditional format, do occasional work or read on the web and the desktop is fine (my dad), then you have me who needs to do heavy-duty work both at home and mobile and have tons of music and videos on line at home (desktop/servers), who travel and have to do heavy duty work (ultrabook) who need to keep in touch at all times (smart phone) and who love to read/view media/read blogs etc in cramped spaces while commuting/traveling (kindle fire).

    Desktops are going no where in a workplace. IT people will *grudgingly* allow tablets but most people like me will let people use them until I detect they’re incapable of doing anything meaningful at work on them, and tell them to use a laptop or lose their job (it’s happened already especially among marketing people who give me crap they tried to piece together on an iPad…completely sub-standard). IT departments aren’t going to stop buying servers. So you will see a decline in PC sales as those who don’t really need them switch to tablets. You’ll see people like me buy a tablet for a purpose and take longer to upgrade laptops and desktops. So like Microsoft prognostications, “the death of the PC” statements are both annoying and completely incorrect. Why can’t we have better predictions based on actual facts?