More Proof The iPad Has Killed The PC

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To anyone who has been paying attention to the dismal plunge in PC sales, this should serve as further proof that we are firmly in the post-PC age: tablet shipments will outnumber laptop shipments for the first time ever in 2013. Not bad for a category that was launched by a gadget that PC makers not only scoffed at when it debuted, but is less than four years old.

The data comes from NPD DisplaySearch, who say that multitouch is what’s driving buying patterns these days, not new operating systems like Windows 8 or Windows RT. Especially not those, actually.

How bad is the decline in laptop sales? NPD says that tablet shipments will jump to 256.5 million globally in 2013, then again to 579.4 million by 2017.

There is some hope for laptop makers. Ultrabooks like the MacBook Air are selling, and will account for 66% of shipments this year. Ahose bizarre hybrid laptops with touchscreens, despite the gorilla arm problem, will see shipments grow by 48% in 2014, so laptop makers are either pretty confident or pretty desperate about them.

Either way, these numbers are yet another nail in the coffin of the PC. The PC and laptop will never die, but it’s growing increasingly clear that most people don’t need them. The iPad and the iPhone, or the tablet in their bag and the smartphone in their pocket, are going to usually be good enough.

  • daov2a

    Amazingly, this post nor the source (Computerworld) lists the source of the data! Here it is for those wanting it:

    http://www.displaysearch.com/cps/rde/xchg/displaysearch/hs.xsl/130506_tablet_pcs_and_touch_adoption_expected_to_drive_mobile_pc_shipments_through_2017.asp

    As per usual, it says nothing like what this or the Computerworld article states. The report clearly states nothing about the “death of the PC.” I firmly believe it is intimating that the big, honking desktop PC, which includes the Mac Pro, is on the way out. It will be replaced by touch enabled slim notebooks/Ultra-slims/books in the vein of the MacBook Air but with the availability of touch and the “gorilla arm” so lovingly advocated by John Brownlee. If you believe something so fervently it is very difficult to be objective. Objectivity, even on a site such as CoM needs to be cultivated and expressed in writing.

    This report further states that Windows 8 nor any particular OS is driving touch but the “penetration of TOUCH in notebook PCs will be driven by a reduction in cost and new form factors, such as hybrids, sliders, and convertibles.”

    If anything was to be taken from this report, it would be that Apple better start putting touch on their laptops/notebooks quick. That is if you believe this report and find it credible.

    In reality, the author has culled the complete opposite from this report and clearly did not actually read the report nor did Computerworld.

    Another guiding quote:

    “Thus far, Windows 8 has had a limited impact on driving touch adoption in notebook PCs, due to a lack of applications needing touch and the high cost of touch on notebook PCs,” added Shim. “Form factors aimed at differentiation from standard clamshell notebooks will help to drive consumer adoption of touch-enabled notebook PCs, starting in the second half of 2013.”

    This is clearly true at least for me. I work in a large Enterprise environment and touch is becoming the centerpiece and the biggest request no matter what the OS.

  • Lioneyes014

    Give me a Break can you run final cut pro, after affects, logic pro have multiple windows in the same app running at once?

    If all you use your PC for is for surfing the web and typing text documents than yes but otherwise this article is DUMB.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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