Advertisement

Blog

The Personal Tablet vs. the Shared PC

For those of us who continue to resist the idea that the PC is becoming extinct, Gartner has an interesting hypothesis.

According to Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, in a press release:

Whereas as once we imagined a world in which individual users would have both a PC and a tablet as personal devices, we increasingly suspect that most individuals will shift consumption activity to a personal tablet, and perform creative and administrative tasks on a shared PC.

The analysis accompanies Gartner’s report that worldwide PC sales fell by 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 90.3 million units. Consumers are replacing older PCs with tablets, but haven’t given up on PCs entirely, Gartner explains. Many users will retain both products, but tablets will be a personal device, while PCs increasingly will be a shared resource.

Either way, PC sales are declining. The good news for vendors, Gartner says, is that technology advancements are resonating with consumers. The disenfranchised PCs are those with lighter configurations, while average selling prices (ASPs) for applications-rich PCs are poised to increase when users do replace their older devices.

The transition period is likely to be painful for component suppliers, however. Even though retailers were able to clear their shelves on Windows 7-based PCs during the holiday period, there’s still a lot of Windows 8 PC inventory lying around. PC vendors were able to ship their Windows 8 products from their warehouses, but sell-through at retail and other outlets has been slow.

It’s unclear if PC makers will be placing new component orders, or waiting until existing inventory has cleared. The release of Windows 8 did not have a significant impact on PC sales, Gartner says.

Other highlights of the report:

  • Hewlett-Packard regained its No. 1 slot in worldwide PC shipments in 2012's fourth quarter with 15.2 percent market share
  • Lenovo dropped to No. 2, with 15.5 percent market share
  • US PC shipments totaled 17.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 2.1 percent decline from 2011's fourth quarter
  • PC shipments in EMEA totaled 28.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 9.6 percent decrease from the prior year
  • Shipments in Asia/Pacific totaled 29.9 million units in 2012's fourth quarter, a 1.8 percent decline from the fourth quarter in 2011

21 comments on “The Personal Tablet vs. the Shared PC

  1. Nemos
    January 14, 2013

    “For those of us who continue to resist the idea that the PC is becoming extinct”

    Pc's will be recovered soon , As I have mentioned in other posts Tablets are great if you like to cover your “social” and “communication” needs and that's all. It will be great to see a survey how many of the customers who bought tablets (in order to replace their pc ) still are using it. 

  2. Daniel
    January 14, 2013

    Barbara, there is no doubt that Tablets will gain momentum in personal device segment. But as of now I won't think it can replace any existing PC/laptop because of the lack of computational power and memory. Once new Tablets are coming up with high computational power and storage facility, then the trend may be in reverse.

  3. Daniel
    January 15, 2013

    Nemos, as of now the tread is an additional device (tablet) with the existing devices like PC/Laptop. But when new version of tablets are introducing to market having high computational power/storage /Memory etc, then the trend may be in favor for Tablets. like you said as of now tablets can be use like a net book and ipods.

  4. prabhakar_deosthali
    January 15, 2013

    In my opinion, in the area of software development, CAD, animation and graphics related work, and such areas will still be dominated by PCs. Today's,s PCs will evolve to take place of yesterdays expensive work stations and the mini servers.

     

     

  5. Cryptoman
    January 15, 2013

    Barbara, this analysis by Gartner baffled me a bit to be honest. I cannot see how the PCs could increasingly become a shared resource when the hardware component prices are always declining. In addition, because things are very affordable for most people these days, we prefer to live “personally” in the sense that we prefer to own things for our exclusive use; we don't like to share.

    Given the above observations, how can the PCs ever be shared. The last time I had to share a PC was in 1993 as the president of the Computer Society at my university. Since then I never considered or had to share a PC. At the time sharing was the only option as PCs were not affordable then especially as a student.

    Sharing a PC also has a downside in terms of user experience. The more users access a PC, the more junk will pile up on it slowing the machine down, menu configurations will constantly change because each user has a different preference. In short, getting work done on a shared PC will become a nightmare. I guess keeping a PC as a “Personal Computer” makes sense to keep users happy and healthy.

    Gartner's projection probably is based on the assumption that because not many PCs will be sold, software available for PCs will not sell as much and therefore it will be very expensive. I can see that PC software prices may go up a bit as the PC sales drop but can they ever be as expensive to propmpt sharing a PC between multiple users? I am not so sure…

     

     

  6. Barbara Jorgensen
    January 15, 2013

    Cryptoman: When I thought about it, Gartner's analysis reflected trends that I see in home use. We all have a tablet, and one PC (going on two) is shared by the family. In the workplace, though, you are correct: I don't think the shared use makes sense when PCs are so affordable. The one case where it might makes sense is sales–I know a lot of salespeople that use tabelts on the road and are rarely in the office. Maybe several salespeople would share a PC when they are in the office?

  7. Cryptoman
    January 15, 2013

    Granted. Workers on the field can benefit from sharing PCs. Also, sharing PCs at home does make sense.

    However, from personal experience, even at home sharing a PC does cause problems. My desktop was filled with little icons and links to videos and images etc. used by my wife when I was sharing my laptop at some stage. I had to get her a separate PC to keep my sanity adn to save gigabytes of hard disk space! 🙂

     

  8. Barbara Jorgensen
    January 15, 2013

    Crypto: I hear you there. My son deleted all my favorites, and I'm still trying to recreate that list.

  9. Ariella
    January 15, 2013

    @Barbara was that an accidental or deliberate deletion? I'm thinking some kids could try to get their own back with parents using digital revenge.

  10. Anand
    January 15, 2013

     Tablets are great if you like to cover your “social” and “communication” needs and that's all.

    @nemos, I totally agree with your opinion. Tablets cannot replace PC's. Professionals still rely on desktops/laptops to do their dayily job because its easy to feed the data and easy to process the data.

  11. Anand
    January 15, 2013

    Once new Tablets are coming up with high computational power and storage facility, then the trend may be in reverse.

    @Jacob, the latest released ultrabooks which have high computational power and memory can be easily converted into tablets. So I am guessing these ultrabooks will become popular in coming days because you can use it as notebook or you can use it as tablet.

  12. Anand
    January 15, 2013

    In my opinion, in the area of software development, CAD, animation and graphics related work, and such areas will still be dominated by PCs.

    @prabhakar_deosthali, you are right but the same can be done if we use combination of cloud and tablet. Tablet will be more of a interface device where as back-end computation will be done in cloud.

  13. Wale Bakare
    January 15, 2013

    I still do not get this –  embedded software engineer/designer use tablet for FPGA/SOC/DSP projects or any software related works like that. Or am i just marooning in an island alone?

  14. Barbara Jorgensen
    January 16, 2013

    Ariella: it was deliberate–he was trying to cover his tracks. Instead of history, he deleted favorites. Luckily, the sites most important to me were stored on my company's VPN.

    That's also one of the reasons why we finally invested in another laptop.

  15. William K.
    January 16, 2013

    Does anybody do serious engineering drawings on a tablet? I don't think that I could do that, and I know that some of them would fill a tablet's memory, which would cause a problem. Also, the screen available on any tablet is just too small to be useful a lot of the time.

    So I will not be replacing my PC with a tablet for a whole lot of years. I am sure that they are fine for emails and games and web searching, but a tablet just does not make it for design engineering.

  16. Adeniji Kayode
    January 16, 2013

    @ Nemo, People with high computation job are quick to realise that tablets have not beenable to replace pc while people that do not have computational job to do keeps upgrading to tablets as a more comfotable device.

  17. Adeniji Kayode
    January 16, 2013

    @William, Well, as at today, tablets can,t handle such task and that is what,s still keeping PC inthe mind of some prodlfessional, but I doubt if sooner than we thought,PC will soon be a thing od museum.

  18. Adeniji Kayode
    January 16, 2013

    @ anandvy, For now tablets can never replace PC, but time will tell if we will soon have such device that can combine both tablets and special tasks of Pc.

  19. bolaji ojo
    January 16, 2013

    William K, Correct. The tablet is not a workhorse and may not be for a while. Still, it is possible to envision a future where tablets have the capacity (storage and processing speed) of a desktop or a laptop and is durable enough to be tethered to a bigger screen on a desk. These are the phases that laptops went through before they became powerful enough to replace (for many people) desktops. If or when such a day arrive, employers will probably select this option rather than buy laptops.

  20. William K.
    January 17, 2013

    One more concern about tablet computers, which was certainly valid for laptop computers, is power density. The desktop unt has a larger case that allows it to run a good bit cooler than the notebook or laptop computer, and running cooler does tend toward extending product lifetime a bit. The tablets are not as powerful as the laptop computers, so they don't get quite as hot, but they tend to be sealed, so they may suffer internal hotspots. So the increasing power density may well lead to a reduction in reliability.

  21. Daniel
    January 21, 2013

    “The latest released ultrabooks which have high computational power and memory can be easily converted into tablets, So I am guessing these ultrabooks will become popular in coming days because you can use it as notebook or you can use it as tablet.”

    Anandvy, no idea. How a net book can be converted in to tablet? A tablet has his own features/specifications based on functionality and size.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.