Tablets and smart-phones are predicted to have huge growth in the coming years.
- smartphones to 800 million per annum by 2013
- tablets passing netbook shipments this year
- smartphones to 440 million in 2011
If people carrying smart-phones develop a fondness for tablets, this could change everything… These numbers mean the monopoly is dead by 2013. Very few of tablets or smart-phones use Wintel. Many of them use GNU/Linux, particularly Android and Chrome OS will surely have a big play. The only crevices in which that other OS can thrive are the vestiges of one licence per PC and the cloud. The one licence per PC thing should be dead next year at this rate. ARMed PCs will appear for sure. The cloud is GNU/Linux territory. Performance is all that matters there. DRM, phoning home and re-re-reboots are a thing of the past.
During this phase of rapid growth, prices will remain a bit too high for my liking but we are already seeing healthy competition in small cheap computers running ARM so I am not worried that price will cause the small computer to be uncompetitive. Head to head against Wintel, they will do very well. You don’t need huge drives and cases and power-supplies with ARM so the price advantage will be leveraged.