It’s still in it’s infancy but if we are to take our cues from smartphones the rate of which people are going to adopt this new way of computing very quickly. Recently I read that smartphones now account for over 50% of the phones in use and for the first time overcoming feature phones in popularity, unsurprisingly most of the smartphone users are on android at about 48% iPhones at about 28% and blackberries at 10%. Blackberries used to be considered the cream of the crop when it came to cell phones and widely used by corporate and government workers so they can always be attached to information as it was available and never miss that all too important email about tps reports that are due on monday. They were such a staple that president Obama fought policy and regulations to be able to keep his once he was elected to office. Now RIM is on the outs and widely being referred to as the “sony walkman” of smartphones and we are not far from that joke being used on computers…desktops in particular.
Think of all of the people you know and ask yourself how many of them still have desktop computers as their primary source of computing? I can only think of maybe 3 people that I know who still use them in that way and that’s mostly because they work in offices and need the large screen and real mouse for multitasking, we still have the hardcore gamers out there that use desktops solely for gaming and the towers have the led lights for just that right kind of accent lighting of their parents basements while they play wow.
The bulk of people I know don’t even own a desktop they use laptops some use the laptops like it were a desktop and it never leaves the house, others it is always by their side. In most of the circles of people I interact with I’m one of the biggest techies but continue to appear as a bit of a luddite. I own a laptop but it mostly just spends time in my closet and any mobile computing I need to do can be done on my phone (first smartphone was this year) I didn’t have a burning need to get one either and upgraded solely because my old feature phone broke and while I was getting used to my new feature phone I was given a great offer for an iPhone 4. I don’t think people around my age view these new(er) devices the same way as I do. O.K. maybe I’m 27 and about as crotchety as an 80 year old man who wants these “kids to get off of my lawn” and “be quiet for once” and will embrace the change when I have to to tablets.
The Post PC Era:
We are very quickly undergoing a change in computing that is very American, make everything easier and better. You combine that with the Japanese thought that smaller is better and the change over from laptops to tablets is not that far fetched anymore.
Laptops while very lightweight now are still too large for the average consumer. At work I see people opting for smaller more compact laptops than their 17″ counterparts and an ever increasing number of people going for tablets rather than laptops (students in particular) Quickoffice lets android tablet users write their papers, create powerpoint shows and put their data into exel. Students like that mostly because the do not have to carry this in a messenger bag/backpack and are getting simular functionality as they did on their laptops and not have to pay anywhere near as much for office on android as they would on a windows computer. They are cheaper as a whole right now a really good tablet is about the same price as a below average laptop, Samsung has said they plan on releasing a tablet for under $200 in 2012. Upgrading hardware will be a thing of the past and computer repair shops will slowly start closing their doors once the cost of a new device comes down to under $200. Combine cost/ease of use/youth movement and you have the start of something very new and the end of consumer pc’s.
I really don’t believe the pc will die soon it will be very long and drawn out, more so in the enterprise section than the consumer. While the technology is progressing quickly I do not see businesses replacing the workforce’s computers with tablets anytime soon. They think the same way I do in that sense “until it becomes a practical and viable replacement for what I have then I don’t want it”
The company I work for still uses on it’s computers an operating system developed in 1980 a system that is 5 years older than I am. So if you are part of a company that puts you on a computer every day to do reports or make presentations I do see a tablet in your future as a way to finish work on the go option but don’t expect it to take over the corporate world until well after the public has fully adopted it.