Smartphones The New PC in 2013

“Global smartphone shipments are expected to grow 30% to 865 million units in 2013, accounting for 43.9% of total handset shipments in the year, Digitimes Research has estimated.”

see Digitimes Research: Global smartphone shipments to grow 30% in 2013.

This is it. A decade ago everyone anticipated having a desktop/notebook PC at home or at work. Now everyone anticipates having a smartphone PC everywhere. The growth rate of shipments of smartphones will slow significantly as we approach the situation that everyone who can afford one will have one but the number of people who can afford a smartphone clearly exceeds the number of people who can afford a desktop/notebook PC and the greater mobility and superior flexibility of Android/Linux over that other OS are the last nails in the coffin of that other OS as the dominant force in IT. I expect 2013 will see more widespread adoption of GNU/Linux as well as prices of desktop/notebook PCs plunge in order to compete on price/performance. Tablets, of course, are still growing but at a much slower rate. What they have in larger screens is offset by the amazing mobility of the smartphone.

At the same time that acceptance/accessibility of smartphones peaks, the realization that few of us actually create content or have devices that interface with a desktop/notebook PC sufficiently to justify the greater cost and consumption of resources of the desktop/notebook PC compared to the fantastic customization of smartphones with apps for everyone is just too much for any exclusive dealing or advertising to overcome. While 2013 may not be the year of GNU/Linux desktops it certainly will be the year after the Wintel monopoly became a sick old man.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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4 Responses to Smartphones The New PC in 2013

  1. notzed says:

    But none of this is good news for free software or the future of software engineering for that matter.

    On any other personal computer till this point you could always install a compiler+editor and code and discover and learn and produce your own stuff.

    Try doing that on an eyephone, even though the hardware is capable of such things, or will be soon.

    People are replacing computers with appliances – this might be what they always really wanted, but it will eventually start to shut-out some of the features some of the rest of us have all come to expect from the ubiquity of general purpose computers: i.e. cost and being able to use it for anything we want.

  2. dougman says:

    Remember the 80/20 rule.

    80% of revenue is derived form 20% of your client base. If M$ is set to lose that 20%, they are in for a world of pain.

  3. kozmcrae wrote, “Microsoft picked a bad time to release a dud on the desktop.”

    … or good, depending on your point of view 😉

    If the shakeup in the OS division and what the OEMs are doing is all connected, this could be “bigger than Vista” for cracking the dam. Vista got a lot of attention from businesses who started examining their options. “8” has kicked OEMs, retailers and consumers pretty hard. I think now everyone knows the emperor has no clothes.

    No matter what happens, the idea that one should buy a new Wintel PC to solve the problems with the old one seems about done. Everyone now has options and knows it. That changes everything. M$ and its OS may not be dead and may never die but they are certainly past their peak. In physics, in a chaotic system, share goes as 1/N where N is the number of choices. I think there are about five choices now so M$’s desktop OS should sink to some level like ~20%. That frees up a lot of retail shelf-space. It’s about time M$ lived or died in the market according to the merits of the product and not the exclusive dealing M$ did.

  4. kozmcrae says:

    Microsoft picked a bad time to release a dud on the desktop.

    Remember what happened when IBM anointed the personal computer as a viable computing device by releasing one of their own?

    The only way Microsoft will be able to stay in the desktop market will be to release a truly new OS (new for them). Not the new GUI layered over the same old crap they’ve been foisting on the public over the years. An operating system that’s already been proven ready for the 21st Century. Microsoft will have to release its own version of Linux. Most likely Suse. They’ll have to.

    The public is done with Microsoft’s OS. They will no longer accept Windows no matter what kind of GUI they slap on it.

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