Changing Working Habits And The Growth Of Mobile Hit PC AND Tablet Sales

It probably doesn’t come as a major surprise to hear that sales of PC computers have taken another nose dive. Steve Jobs hastened in the beginning of the end of the PC era when he launched the first post-PC device – the Apple iPad – and since then the proliferation of Smartphone’s, tablet commuters and more latterly, the phablet, have all contributed to that decline.

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The Post-PC era has brought a focus on mobility and portability, with consumers increasingly demanding that their technology can be transported with them and used on the go.

This trend has been followed by Gartner, who have been responsible for filing the latest research into PC sales. Carolina Milanesi, who was heavily involved in this research and whom acts as a research vice president at Gartner observed:

“Consumers want anytime-anywhere computing that allows them to consume and
create content with ease, but also share and access that content from a different portfolio of products. Mobility is paramount in both mature and emerging markets,”

The boundless development of the latest technology, with its focus on speed and processing power coming out of ever slimmer devices has left the PC feeling a somewhat antiquated device. The developments in emerging markets, which ordinarily might have been seen as a last growth market for the PC, have been a further burden for PC sales, which Milanesi alluded to.

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PC sales in countries like China and India never got off the ground, due largely to the countries focus on mobile. Therefore, when technologists in the more developed markets talk about the increasing importance of mobile – something that BlackBerry have pointed out – they are discussing a device which Is set to be transformative in the these developed markets. Mobile is already huge in countries like the UK and the USA, but some early indications could be pointing towards mobile killing not just PCs but also tablets in the more developed markets.

This notion was covered by us recently in our article ‘are tablets just a fad?’ Large companies like BlackBerry believe they may be, and as such are pointing their still considerable development resources at the mobile device exclusively. There are some indications that other tech manufacturers may be doing likewise. At the very least it seems that the tablet market is moving from premium towards cheaper, as pointed out by the Gartner research.

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“There has also been a shift as many consumers go from premium tablets to basic tablets. The share of basic tablets is expected to increase faster than anticipated, as
sales of the iPad Mini already represented 60 per cent of overall iOS sales in the first quarter of 2013.” The cheaper and more portable iPad mini is the closest Apple offering to a phablet – although that could change with the rumored iPhone mini and the possibility that the iPhone 6 could launch as a phablet alongside a slimmed down and cheaper 5S this September.

The Post-PC era is also been hastened by changing working habits in the more developed countries. The increasing number of people working remotely has led to a greater acceptance of workers bringing their own devices to work with them. Hotdesks are a growing trend in major company’s offices in large cities like London, where workers grab a desk and login to the Wi-Fi via their tablet or laptop. This all eats into PC sales, which were being held up by the major offices and their love of the larger workstation.