According to a recent report by research group ICD for the first time ever, personal computers are being outsold by smartphones. I can’t say that I’m at all surprised. This report states that worldwide, in the last 3 months of 2010, consumer electronics makers shipped 100.9 million smartphones (an 87 percent jump from the year prior) while PC shipments edged up a mere 3 percent to about 92.1 million.
Ramon Llamas, IDC analyst, states “the two trends are unrelated…smart phones and PCs serve different purposes, and consumers generally need both.” Ehh…I beg to differ. I can see where the argument would hold validity in some cases but generally if one had to choose between a PC and a smartphone it’s undeniable that the smartphone would win, hands down. The dilemma faced my PC, in this instance, is that the smartphone has the same capabilities as the PC but not vice versa. Llamas continues to argue that PC remains important for writing papers, editing photos and creating other kinds of content but he failed to realize that most smartphones nowadays encompass the same capabilities. Full papers are written on blackberry’s (trust me, I’ve done it). Photo’s are cropped, edited and distorted via iPhone and as far as “creating other types on content” don’t even get the smartphone started. One of these days I wouldn’t be surprised if the smartphone cooked dinner.
I’ve been forced into this dilemma before. Lost my smartphone but still had my PC. Yes, I was still able to iChat, Tweet, Facebook and write papers but this did not, by any means, compensate for the torturing feeling of disconnect. What about those friends of mine who had no desire or access to Twitter, FB or any other social network? How was I to connect with them? What if there was an emergency? I wondered who was trying to call me. I wondered if such and such ever got back to me with a text. Oh, the agony. It was the equivalent of losing a limb. I quiver just thinking about it.
Then the situation was reversed; PC crashed. Yes, it was awful because I am greatly attached to my Macbook, but I can admit that I managed. Twitter, FB, BBM, Word docs, text messages, phones calls, all still there via smartphone. No, I didn’t have my internet TV (which I’m slightly obsessed with so that was a glitch) but I did still have my home tube to resort to.
The point is to expect this to be a growing trend. No, I don’t think that the smartphone will completely phase the PC out but I do believe the numbers will continue on the current course. With Android and iPhone constantly evolving and implementing applications it will be of no surprise if/when the smartphone encompasses every capability of the most sophisticated PC and more. I don’t believe this is a bad thing, by the way. I think this is just a reflection of an on-the-go society and smartphones are doing a great job of keeping up with this pace. With the smartphone business is handled, communication is efficient, we remain adequately connected, everybody’s happy.