Mobile Is Hot, but PCs Are Here to Stay

The other day I was talking to a colleague who was very excited about an article he just read on the adoption of mobile devices by consumers. He said they now account for more users than desktop or laptop PCs. My colleague said that smartphone usage will grow to 70 percent of Americans this year, and, according to {complink 7426|Gartner Inc.} research, online marketing expenditures will exceed $8 billion.

He went on to say that soon, more people will be using their mobile devices than will be using PCs to access information and place orders. I pointed out to him that there’s still going to be a number of people that need to have access to a PC — electronics buyers, for example.

Certainly, I can understand how an engineer who needs to look up a part could do it on the fly on his mobile device or even possibly place an order for a single product he needs for a project. However, while that may be good for engineers and other folks who want to buy lingerie online or quickly find good restaurants, mobile devices are not set to take over the buying process for electronics.

I can envision mobile apps that allow you to check order status while you’re having your morning latte at Starbucks, or to answer your sales team on the status of an order while you’re out for a morning jog. I’m sure what all electronics buyers are looking for is more access to their sales teams at any time during the day or night.

Mobile technology can help buyers be notified directly on their mobile devices when orders are delayed, or updated on the status of orders so they don’t get lost in the myriad of emails they receive every day. I’m sure there’s an app for that or apps being developed to make your life easier. But let’s just say the PC is here to stay.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on how mobile might play a role in your world. But please write, don’t call.

16 comments on “Mobile Is Hot, but PCs Are Here to Stay

  1. Barbara Jorgensen
    February 14, 2011

    When surveys ask consumers “What device could you not do without if you were standed on a desert island?” my response is “laptop” not “cell phone.” I thought I was the only one. There are a number of reasons for this, but one occurred just this weekend. I'm due to upgrade my cellular phone. I picked the newer version of the so-so phone I own now. Why? I do not have the time or patience to learn how to use a new phone, operating system etc. etc. I know how to use a PC; I know how to use a Mac. When I buy a PC/Mac the learning curve is not that painful. Been there, done that. I have found upgrading my phones the exact opposite.  Yes, I know Apple has a phone now and it's supposed to be wonderful. But I spend mroe time on my laptop than I do on the phone, so for me it's still the PC.

  2. Ariella
    February 14, 2011

    I could go online, check my email, and send out message on my phone.  But I don't.  I carry a cell phone just in case I need to call somoeone or just in case someone needs to call me.  I don't use it as a portable work station.  I like typing on a real key board and seeing things in a full sized screen.

  3. eemom
    February 14, 2011

    I use my phone for texting, emails, phone calls, and sometimes if I'm killing time, to go on facebook.  It has not even come close to replacing my MAC.  Even though I do use it for email, I prefer my MAC because it is faster to respond.  Even though I can go on the Internet, I only do so when I am not in front of a PC because trying to view a web page on a phone screen, is very aggrevating.

    Although I think the phone replaces the PC when you are on the go, it is a stop gap measure until you get home or to the office to the real thing.


  4. jbond
    February 14, 2011

    I agree that for the foreseeable future, PCs are here to stay. Using your Blackberry or any other Smartphone is very useful while on the go. It even helps if you’re in the hallway talking to a colleague and somebody has sent an important email that needs immediate attention. As nice as these phones are for some simple tasks, the business world still needs PCs. Can you imagine creating a rather large spreadsheet for a presentation on Excel through your phone? It is bad enough viewing these documents sometimes let alone actually creating one.

    As much as I love and use my Blackberry, I would not be able to get through my day without using my laptop or desktop.


  5. Hardcore
    February 14, 2011

    I would say that It all depends how your life/work is organised and which information streams you need access to.

    For example, a person I know (Estate agent),  generally spends most of her time out of the office, and as such relies on her mobile phone to access her numerous email accounts.

    She may browse some internet sites for comparable pricing, or google maps for directions, but other than that her life is almost complete.

    Her boss, who also travels requires something a little more sophisticated, it used to be a laptop but now it is a tablet, at this level he needs it to work on  proposals, view site layouts, and 3d renditions of various buildings/ developments he is working on.

    Both are generally consumers of information, rather than high level generators(yep ok they send emails, but on the whole that is not really high level communication).

    However the team that backs them up, lawyers, site engineers , engineers, 3D CAD artists we can say are all high level information generators, in that most of their tasks require the use of large storage backup, high throughput CPU's and usually multiple monitors generally the size of decommissioned aircraft carriers.(apart from the legal team)

    The breakthrough will occur at the interface level, once  this has been sorted out and the issues related to user feedback have been removed ,there is a good chance we will see all computer systems suddenly reduce in size. At this point we will firmly on the road to wearable/implantable computer systems for the general public.

    They already have such systems for the military, however a number of issues remain, two  of which are the size of the screens which are in a  'flipback' pouch and require teh user to flip the monitor upwards from the uniform.

    More of an issue is the batteries, if you are shot, you really do not want bits of battery fragment being dragged into you from the bullet and there has been currently /is massive research into this area (funny how we are only innovative when it involves killing each other)

    Like any other challenge the issues related to man/machine interface will be solved.

    The question will then be: 'To Borg or not to Borg', perhaps later we will see people lying on the floor or wandering about aimlessly because that have 'crashed'?





  6. prabhakar_deosthali
    February 15, 2011

    In my opinion whatever smartness a mobile phone has it is cumbersome to create something using a mobile. To create a speradshhet, a PPT slide show, a part drawing using CAD, a building layout,  just simple photo editing using Photoshop , you need a PC or a laptop. So as far as information processing is concerned it is still the PC , but if you are just doing browsing then mobile will do most of your jobs

  7. Anand
    February 15, 2011

     I believe, however smart SMART phones might become, PCs will never perish. They are in a league of their own. Infact I am thinking to buy one desktop after buying Smartphone and laptop :). The processor speed advantage, cost factor advantage that the conventional desktop PC's offer can neither be achieved by smart phones nor the laptops (I am treating PC as pure desktop). Infact we can treat it as a ecosystem where each device plays its own role. Desktop gives us processing speed, laptops/smartphones gives us mobility.

  8. elctrnx_lyf
    February 15, 2011

    I'm an electronics engineer and considering the amount of time spent on computer and on the mobile on every day I can clearly say that mobiles are good, to chekc osme quick status or to just get updates on emails on news. But they can not replace a computer because of to main factors of diplay and keyboard. And then next comes the factor of processing power. If the mobile can give a viewing experince of atleast 12 inch monitor and good keypad for faster typing or an equivalent interface something like a laser projected keypad then we might actually use mobiles all the time.

  9. seel225
    February 20, 2011

    In my opinion PCs are the best. I do use a smart phone like all for checking my mails watching videos sometime while traveling but i can not do my work on phone.When i go out or when i don't have a PC available mobile comes handy.If i want to find out the route while traveling or if i want to find out a good resturant or If i would like to know nearest gas station i always use my phone. I feel smartphones made life more easier.

  10. Adeniji Kayode
    February 21, 2011

    You are right, while smartphone help you to handle your daily schedule smartlyand cut down on time wastage,yet they don,t handle much tasks as PCS    

  11. Adeniji Kayode
    February 21, 2011

    The smartphones are really helpful when it comes to checking of mails,status and other tasks that does not involve serious computation.This among many other factors is the reason why they can not replace PCs . The PCs still maintain one of their major tasks -serious computationsand this is still an edge over the smartphones

  12. Adeniji Kayode
    February 21, 2011

    anandvy:youreallymadegoodpoinstonthissubjectmatter.whilewehavebeencomparingthecompetitiveedgesofbothsmartphonesandpcs,thetruthofthematteristhattheybothhavetheirrolestoplayandtheysolveproblemsindifferentwaysandalsoofferdifferentlevelofcomforts.imeantosaythatwhilesmartphones  have  gonebeyondjustmakingcallsandsendingsmsormmsandnowcombinefewfunctionsonpcs,bothareheretostay.
  13. Adeniji Kayode
    February 21, 2011

    Elctrnx_iyf: You really did a good job in shedding light on factors that can really give the mobiles strong competitive edge over PCs but that eventually may not give them the advantage because we are in the era of “the more sophisticated the lesser the size”. Mobiles coming with keykoard and wider screen might defeat the aims and objectives of mobile electronics.

  14. hwong
    February 26, 2011

    Mobile devices really make our lifes more productive on certain aspects and they consume much less power than computers. So, good for our environment.

  15. saranyatil
    February 27, 2011

    the one key feature most of us are comfortable is using phone for long conversations, this feel is never created once we are on a call online. as we are all gtting lethargic we look for some device which we can just carry it in our pockets or vanity bags instead of carryin a pouch to carry our Pc's. but definitely there is a problem with Mobiles too if we want to read long pages of data it will start getting monotonous and irritating to.

  16. Ashu001
    February 27, 2011

    The biggest difference that most people dont seem to realise is,when I get off my PC I get off.The connection is over and complete.

    On the other hand I am always and permanently connected to my mobile phone(except in the case of really smart and resoureful people who know when to switch off the mobile phone when it starts to get too much for them to handle-Especially late at night…)

    This is something which attracts most app developers and advertisers to the Mobile platform today(and is why Mobile is where most of the growth is going to come from today).PCs will still be there 5 years from now for sure,Just that growth will not be explosive like in the Mobile space.



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