The analyst firm Analysis Mason recently reported on the huge growth in tablet use across Europe – sales of tablets doubled in 2012. Apple’s iPad claimed 46% of the European market, whilst lower-priced Android devices, such as the Google Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD, also sold strongly towards the end of 2012.
At the same time, it would appear sales of PCs are in serious decline. The Financial Times had predicted sales of PCs would fall by 7% in the first quarter of the year, but the reality was actually a decline of 14%.
Does this mean the desktop PC will soon be extinct? Not necessarily…
We are certainly in a new era of business technology, with the advent of tablets and the even greater usage of mobile phones than ever before. But there’s still a PC on many office desks and in many homes. Those PCs haven’t been thrown out in order to make space for a tablet or a smartphone: instead, these devices all work together. For example, you may have a desktop in your office, access your work emails on your smartphone on the commute home, and then login again from your personal laptop after the kids have gone to bed.
Rather than suggesting that the PC is already defunct, falling PC sales figures may equally suggest that businesses (particularly smaller businesses with tighter IT budgets)are looking for ways to extend the life of their existing technology by supplementing it with these other technologies.
And with advent of technology such as Hosted Virtual Desktops and collaborative tools such as Soonr and Sharepoint – both offering the same familiar user experience, regardless of device – the PC may remain a familiar sight for a few years yet.