Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 16th 2015 Contents Just when it seemed like the
embattled personal computer was
enjoying a reprieve from it dra-
matic decline to near irrelevance,
worldwide PC shipments saw
their biggest drop in nearly two
years, according market reports released this
The same reports reaffirm the ascendancy
of smaller, more convenient computing devices,
such as smartphones, tablets and wearables.
Computing is fast becoming more mobile and
Falling PC sales
Research outfit Gartner reported that 68.4
million units shipped in the second quarter
of 2015, a 9.5 per cent decline compared to
the same period a year ago. Meanwhile,
researchers at IDC, which doesn t count tablets
in its report, calculated an 11.8 per cent drop
year-over-year to 66.1 million PCs shipped.
To put that number into context, Apple said
in its most recent earnings report that it had
sold 61 million iPhones during the same quar-
ter. That s just one smartphone from one (albeit
very special) company.
PC manufacturers experienced declines
across the board, globally, with one notable
exception. Apple saw year-over-year growth
of 16.1 per cent, according to. Apple s growth
was likely helped by the release of the new
MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro in March.
But Apple s figures have to be put into a larger
context. Macs overall accounted for less than
10 per cent of Apple s revenue for that quarter,
while the iPhone accounted for almost 70 per
This latest new of decline in the once dom-
inant global PC market is really no surprise.
Technology headlines have been filled with
pronouncements of the death of the PC for
some time now. The irony is that the decline
of the Personal Computer comes as we enter
what can be considered a renaissance of per-
Mobile increasingly popular
Today s smartphones, tablets and phablets
allow users can carry out many of the tasks
that were once the exclusive preserve of desktop
or laptop PCs.
Running business apps, checking email,
managing multimedia such as photos and
music, once required users to be bound to
desks or laptops. Now the combination of
mobile devices, broadband internet access and
cloud computing has radically and permanently
redefined how we use computing devices.
With mobile devices traditional computing
tasks can be more conveniently performed on
the go. Mobile also better supports new, more
Today s mobile devices allow us to manage
our social media profile on sites like Facebook
and Twitter; search and surf the Web; issue
voice commands for tasks that can range from
playing music to finding directions. Using our
mobile devices, we can now watch videos,
play games, send email and more; anywhere,
anytime. Computing has never been as mobile,
or as personal.
Google s recent reengineering of its search
engine to prioritise mobile-friendly sites is
confirmation of this. The search-giant its con-
tinued relevance and profitability depends on
how well it continues to perform on the devices
people are actually using for searches.
Other major technology players such as
Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Facebook---are
also putting significant resources toward opti-
mising their businesses for mobile. No one
has gotten it completely perfect as yet, but it
is clear that they all see mobile as the future
Still, several explanations have been posited
for the PCs recent sharp decline. Gartner noted
that because Microsoft s Windows 10 launch
is imminent, businesses may have opted to
wait to upgrade their PCs.
IDC also pointed out the decline might look
especially bad this time around because busi-
nesses only recently completed major PC
upgrades following Microsoft pulling of the
plug on Windows XP last year.
Wither goeth the PC?
So where does this all leave the venerable
PC? The role of the PC may be irreversibly
diminishing in today computing hierarchy,
however, PCs will be with us for some time
Some tasks such as design, animation, soft-
ware development and accounting are still
better performed by PCs. The PC s larger
screens and more powerful processers than
would be practical for a mobile device still
make them the go-to device choice for cor-
Furthermore, ongoing innovations in micro-
processors, hardware design, operating system
functionality as well as falling prices will also
help secure a niche for the PCs in homes,
offices and schools around the world.
Even so, the trajectory is still clear and
uncontestable: PC sales are going down. Even
if, as some analysts believe, the sharp dip
experienced last quarter is temporary, the gen-
eral downward trend of PC sales is permanent.
The PCs decline is as clear as the ascendency
of mobile. Mobile devices will dominate both
the business and personal computing landscape
of the future.
In the process mobile devices will continue
to make computing more ubiquitous and more
personal than ever before.
Bevil Wooding is the chief knowledge
officer at Congress WBN (C-WBN) a val-
ues-based international non-profit organi-
sation and executive director at BrightPath
Foundation, responsible for C-WBN's tech-
nology education and outreach initiatives.
Follow on Twitter: @bevilwooding and Insta-
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JULY 16 • 2015
The PC is dead!
Long live personal computing
With mobile devices
tasks can be more
on the go. Mobile also
better supports new,
more personal activities.
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