Up to now, small cheap computers have been mostly smart thingies, netbooks and the like but all-in-ones are picking up steam according to Digitimes. They report that all-in-ones reached 18 million units shipped in 2011 with 3.5 inch hard drives but now 2.5 inch hard drives are entering the fray. They report that 2012 will have 24 million units shipped and in 2013 27 million are expected to ship with 1 million having 2.5 inch hard drives. That’s good news for makers of 2.5 inch hard drives but it also shows that buyers are valuing small, cheap and mobile in their purchases, and small is winning some ground. It’s still early-adopter phase but with these numbers we see mainstream buyers appreciating less power-consumption, less clutter, less noise, fewer cables and caring less about the computing power of the unit which for many purposes has been more than adequate for a decade.
As consumers see more choices in small cheap computers there will be some segment that cares enough about price/performance to choose GNU/Linux and Android/Linux over Wintel. This all-in-one movement is another way that */Linux can take share away from Wintel. Combined with the growth of thin clients this is a further squeeze on M$’s prices and unit-share.