The last few months I’ve been hearing more and more about people and companies saying that the Desktop PC is dying.
Most of these people are non-entities (unlike me!) and their opinions don’t really matter (unlike mine!). However, when Google made the statement that Desktop PC’s will be dead within 3 years I actually sat up and took notice. (Well, for a few minutes, anyway.)
For more info on what Google said, check out this article.
So, being active in the IT industry, I started thinking about this statement, and the implications that it would have on people and businesses. And my conclusion? It’s total nonsense.
As evidence of the declining popularity of Desktop PC’s, people are pointing to statistics and graphs like these:
This graph clearly shows the declining sales of Desktop PC’s compared to various portable systems, and most notably the increase in sales of tablet PC’s, along with a projection of these sales (if current trends keep up) up until 2015.
However, there are a few flaws with this graph, or more specifically, with drawing those conclusions from this graph.
Firstly, the graph doesn’t show how many of those purchases are insurance-related purchases, or replacements for broken or stolen devices. You see, portable devices are stolen much more frequently than desktop PC’s, not to mention the number of laptops that inadvertently take a journey down the stairs… These devices then obviously need to be replaced, leading to an increase in sales.
The second problem I have with this graph is that it doesn’t show PC component sales, only full PC sales. It’s common knowledge that desktop PC’s are far more upgradeable than portable devices. Over the last few years, technology has been “stable” – meaning that a PC purchased new 4 years ago can often be upgraded today to fairly good specifications. This means that (especially with a world-wide recession) people would rather upgrade their PC’s than purchase a new one, which is not the case with portable systems, and which would influence the conclusions we draw from this graph.
I have one more point to make about this. If desktop PC’s were dying, then why would people be buying more and larger LCD and LED monitors? If the trend was really “size-related”, why then are people purchasing things that take up even more desk space? The answer is simple – there are certain things that people don’t want to do on a small screen. I don’t want to watch movies on my BlackBerry (though I can if I want to). I don’t want to play Lord of the Rings Online with my laptop’s pathetic integrated graphics. I do my video editing, gaming, movie watching, music playing, and graphic designing on a system with more power than an Apple iPad. Because I want to.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you agree, or do you have a different opinion? (At the risk of sounding like King Julian, your opinion counts, because you are my readers!) So comment away; I read all comments, even if I don’t always reply.
So, for now, signing off from my DESKTOP PC, and damn proud of it,