Ronnie05's Blog

Laptops set to follow the way of the Dodo? (Counter arguements)

Posted in Device Platforms, Mobile Data & Traffic by Manas Ganguly on April 10, 2013

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 76.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13), down -13.9% compared to the same quarter in 2012 and worse than the forecast decline of -7.7%, according to the International Data Corporation. This is one of the steepest declines in this segment over the last 19 years.

PC Numbers

IDC further states: ” Despite some mild improvement in the economic environment, and some new PC models offering Windows 8, PC shipments were down significantly across all regions compared to a year ago. Fading mini notebook shipments have taken a big chunk out of the low end market while tablets and smartphones continue to divert consumer spending. PC Industry efforts to offer touch capabilities and ultraslim systems have been hampered by traditional barriers of price and component supply, as well as a weal reception for Windows8. The PC industry is struggling to identify innovations that differentiate PCs from other products and inspire conssumers to buy, and instead is meeting significant resistance to changes perceieved as cumbersome or costly”.

Unlike the consumer PC market, the enterprise PC market has seen growth, driven by continuing PC refreshes. The professional market makes up about half of all shipments.

Worldwide PC Shipments Q1, 2013

Gartner corroborates the sentiment measuring an 11.2 percent decline quarter over quarter and quarterly shipments of 79.2 million units, a bit higher than IDC’s numbers — and therefore the lowest levels since the second quarter of 2009, per its estimates.

And hence comes the much debated oft enquired questions – Is the PC/Laptop segment going the way of the Dodo??

And the way i see it – and the way i believe it – PCs are not dead. Sidelined – Yes! Dead – No! Steve Jobs would have been correct in a lot of other things – but as far as Post PC era is concerned, i am not the most convinced. To me it always is a PC+ Era – PC + Tablet + Smartphone + Tablet + Watch + Glass + what ever else.

Two principle reasons to support my arguement –

1. PC will be the enterprise hero – it will be the data generator – as opposed to a smartphone, Glass, tablet or watch which will essentially be data consumers and data. There is a point that most of the data will be in Video -but there will still need to be memos and accounts in office parlance. I hardly see any other device doing that as efficiently as the age old PC/Laptop

2. Supporting my numbers for Point 1 – the data generated and conducted through a laptop through 2017 will still be sizeable compared to a lot of other computing machines such as smartphones. The numbers from CISCO VNI on the data per unit machine forecasts through 2011 – 2017 has a point in favour of the Laptop PC.

Global Device Data Traffic
Source: CISCO VNI

Even though Laptop contribution to the global data traffic will be around 14%, it would still be the second largest device in terms of data traffic share beyond the ubiquitous smartphone!

Data Traffic 2017
Source: CISCO VNI

Adding the facts and numbers so presented, Laptop category is far from dead – it will be an important member of the convergence and computing econ-system. One that is key to niche computing in enterprises.

Whats your point of view on the future of the laptop?

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