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Tablet sales surging at PC's expense

4/4/2013 06:02 PM EDT
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jackOfManyTrades
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re: Tablet sales surging at PC's expense
jackOfManyTrades   4/5/2013 3:41:19 PM
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I have a 2-year contract for my mobile phone here in the UK, because I'm happy not to have the latest, wizziest phone. Many/most people here have 1 year contracts, so get a new phone every year. Given the number of phones in the world is already over 6 billion, there's your 3 billion reached easily: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_mobile_phones_in_use

ccidarth
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re: Tablet sales surging at PC's expense
ccidarth   4/5/2013 4:09:20 PM
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The data is about new sales and not usage. Even if the PC usage remains stable, eventually new PC sales had to stop growing. And there are plenty of people who have PCs and some who would bever buy one. Those people are buying tablets. And many only need one PC in their household, but want a tablet and/or smartphone per person.

C VanDorne
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re: Tablet sales surging at PC's expense
C VanDorne   4/5/2013 5:51:29 PM
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"...unless we become a country of imbeciles..." Uhh, Bert, do you maybe want to rethink the tense of this statement?

Bert22306
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re: Tablet sales surging at PC's expense
Bert22306   4/5/2013 9:23:44 PM
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When a list of things that "most people do" on PCs consists of only leisure activities, what it says to me is that the list is not an exhaustive list of their needs. In fact, the list may not even account for the majority of their Internet activities, on any given day. Unless they are retired, and even then I would wonder if it did. The tablet will only replace the PC when the tablet becomes a PC. Which, of course, the Surface Pro has essentially done. Develop a decent docking station, allow the use of big or multiple monitors, so you can have multiple windows open at the same time, and then you have merely created a more portable PC.

old account Frank Eory
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re: Tablet sales surging at PC's expense
old account Frank Eory   4/5/2013 11:19:20 PM
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I'm sorry but I literally busted out laughing at your first sentence. I have two machines here in my office. The real engineering work gets done on the Sun computer that runs Red Hat Linux. The Windows laptop is mostly for checking email and running MS Office applications.

old account Frank Eory
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re: Tablet sales surging at PC's expense
old account Frank Eory   4/5/2013 11:21:54 PM
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Bert, a tablet can do all those things you mentioned in your first paragraph. By your definition, a tablet is a PC.

Wilco1
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re: Tablet sales surging at PC's expense
Wilco1   4/5/2013 11:36:45 PM
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I agree Surface Pro is essentially a laptop replacement. And that is why it won't succeed - it is going to remain a small minority compared with the millions of tablets which are far smaller, lighter, cheaper and offer much longer battery life. Although I'm not an Apple fan, I recently tried out my sister's iPad on holiday and was amazed that I could use it for a few hours of browsing and email a day for almost a week without recharging it. It's a far more portable, always on, unique experience than a laptop. It's so much better to sit on the couch with a light tablet than having to drag a heavy and hot laptop around with charger attached! I hate taking a laptop when travelling so this was a totally new experience. If you haven't tried one, you just don't know... Most PCs are used for leisure activities, and I expect many to convert to tablets over the next decade. Families with several desktops/laptops will become pretty much extinct - if you're a power user you might just keep 1 PC for heavy work.

Bert22306
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re: Tablet sales surging at PC's expense
Bert22306   4/6/2013 1:15:52 AM
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Depends on the tablet, Frank, and on whether it is dockable. I don't know how other people work, school or actual work, but I've typically got several things open on the PC, and several on the physical desk. And my constant problem is, shortage of display real-estate. I can't begin to imagine working up a presentation, or a document, or even moving around funds in the bank, when I have half of a tiny screen taken up by a virtual keyboard. How do I jump between documents and betweeen web sites I might be searching? One small item at a time? Like in the DOS days? A tablet connected to a docking station could certainly do this. And then it would indeed qualify as a PC. The Kindle Fire, for instance, is leagues away from achieving this. So is the iPad.

Bert22306
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re: Tablet sales surging at PC's expense
Bert22306   4/6/2013 1:33:20 AM
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Perhaps this debate is the same as the one about battery-powered electric cars. Even if "most of the time" people use cars for distances that may be within battery range, "most of the time" doesn't cover all cases or all (unexpected?) contingencies. Unless battery technology goes through a step increase in energy storage, people will continue to need a gasoline or diesel powered car. You don't have to be a "power user" to do basic things, like homework assignments, lab reports, banking online, catalog comparisons of that difficult-to-match china you're searching for, etc. etc. As of today, I would say that tablets are mainly used as a replacement for printed books, printed newspapers, and for the sort of lighweight web searches and texting people would otherwise do on a smartphone. I continue to be think that people get so enthused by these leisure activities that they forget how much they still depend on PCs. Not too different from owners of battery electric cars.

Yog-Sothoth
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re: Tablet sales surging at PC's expense
Yog-Sothoth   4/6/2013 1:37:30 PM
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I've so far resisted buying a tablet (and by that I mean something like an iPad). I work with a PC which does the big grunt jobs (it has lots of memory) and a Macbook pro which boots fast on its SSD and is used on business trips. So what would I use a tablet for? I'm still not sure. Seems to me that PCs met the demands of home users in the past because there was no other choice that could do what they wanted to do, which were the things Pica pointed out above. I know many people who just need to check email, Facebook etc. and tablets are just right for them, they don't want the complexity of a PC. That doesn't mean PCs will go away, they will just end up being used by the people who need more than a tablet. Touch screens are great for simple apps, but for CAD and EDA they make little sense.

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