I have for years touted small cheap computers as the future of IT“China-based vendor Huawei Device has set a goal of shipping 80 million smartphones globally in 2014, growing 53.8% on year
In 2013, Huawei Device shipped 52 million smartphones, up 62.5% on year” but I never imagined they would so rapidly eclipse the ubiquity and power of legacy PCs. The small size, low price, adequate performance and an abundance of software applications has allowed Android/Linux on ARM smartphones to blow away all my expectations.
The love of mobility and capabilities of the devices have made them nearly ubiquitous. At these rates of production, nearly everyone on the planet who wants one will have it in 2014 or 2015. The installed base already eclipses the legacy PC. 3Q13 Shipments
258.4Further, the installed base could grow to the point where the replacement production could continue to eclipse the legacy PC forever. It’s not that legacy PCs will disappear but they will become a specialty device for folks who need more CPU/storage/throughput than a small fanless device can manage. The legacy PC may become rare within a few years as folks realize they don’t need/want one or can get the grunt stuff done on a server.
Flash back to the early days of the PC. Businesses needed them as word-processors and calculators and databases and communications devices. Ordinary consumers didn’t need them at all until e-mail and the web took off, except for gaming. Now, the consumer can get all he/she needs from these small cheap computers. There are a lot more consumers than business-employees. The small cheap computers can be connected to large/multiple screens, keyboards and pointing devices to do a lot of the work businesses do on servers these days. So, the Wintel empire will shrink to a fraction of its present size. 8 quarters of declining shipments of legacy PCs shows that. M$’s desperate attempts to produce small cheap computers and still claim a tax shows that. M$’s constant advertising shows that.
The world has entered an entirely new phase with an abundance of choices and competition for consumers’ business and for businesses’ business. It will be interesting to see whether the smartphone will do it all or tablets will become giant smartphones or smartphones will dock into whatever. It’s all good.