While Mobile Explodes, PCs Quietly Remain Relevant

While Mobile Explodes, PCs Quietly Remain Relevant

May 1

Mobile devices are rapidly changing the face of computing. Try these numbers on for size:

  • Smartphone usage in 2012 grew by 81 percent over the previous year
  • The number of internet-connected tablets increased to 36 million in 2012, more than double from the previous year
  • In 2012, mobile data traffic was more than ten times the size of the whole global internet in 2000

These figures, derived from a white paper published by Cisco, illustrate the fact that the computing vertical is being powered by far more than just laptops and desktops. Smartphones and tablets are proving their worth on multiple fronts, showing that they can be equally handy in personal and professional environments alike. But while these devices are taking the world by storm, the PC market is not going down without a fight. In fact, it’s refusing to go down at all.

Intriguing PC Innovations

One of the form factors driving the PC market is the ultrabook. Showcasing gadgets that are sleek, lightweight, easily portable and powerful enough for most enterprise-level tasks, this market section may soon find its way in the PC replacement queue for many companies. Juniper Research boldly predicted that the growth of ultrabooks will continue to explode into 2016 and could triple tablets in terms of unit shipments. At this rate, the ultrabook market alone might keep the PC torch burning for quite a while.

PC manufacturers are also beefing up their connectivity specifications to better compete with mobile devices. Dell, for example, has a line of mobile broadband laptops with built-in 3G and 4G support. These gadgets offer a way for users to untether their devices from the confinements of Wi-Fi in their home, office, or favorite local hotspot and enjoy reliable internet access from virtually anywhere. Innovations such as these are welcomed additions to those who already admire the data entry, performance, and versatility benefits PCs bring to the table.

Maintaining Visibility

comScore’s March 2013 U.S. search rankings show that PCs are in fact very active. The report estimates that over 20.3 billion searches were executed from personal computers in March. This number was a record-setting performance as the PC market had never reeled in more than 20 billion searches in a single month.

The vast pool of devices at our fingertips is no doubt a good thing for those of us who are hardcore computing in the information age. Thanks to the cloud and other mobile-friendly technologies, these highly functional gadgets allow us to complete almost any task, from almost anywhere. And while mobile looks poised to continually seize sizable shares of various markets, something tells me that the PC will remain a powerful tool that plays an integral role in the computing landscape for many years to come.