Daniel Lemire's blog

, 10 min read

Will tablets kill PCs?

12 thoughts on “Will tablets kill PCs?”

  1. Chris Nahr says:

    I agree, and so does Microsoft with Windows 8 and the Surface tablets. I think the new PC replacement tablets will look like this, with and included foldable keyboard. As you point out a separate keyboard really is necessary for anything resembling real work. Folding it away behind a touchscreen when not in use combines the advantages of iPad (extremely simple use of most programs) and a laptop.

  2. Chris Nahr says:

    By the way, that comment was typed on an iPad’s on-screen keyboard, as evidenced by the typos…

  3. Charlie says:

    1. Thin clients did not replace PC’s for the same reason the cloud will not replace PC’s. Large corporations can benefit from private clouds, but it doesn’t make much sense for serious single users or small organizations.
    2. Tablets and smart phones will likely take most of the low-end PC market (those who have limited need for more sophisticated applications, like Computer Aided Engineering, higher maths, etc.)- mostly for those who want to surf the net, or only need limited word processing and e-mail, or are willing to limit their gaming to on-line offerings. More sophisticated gaming will still require high-end PC’s.
    3. Those who are of the opinion that PC’s (from any manufacturer) “…are confusing and hard to maintain” or are difficult to hack have yet to discover the wonderful world of Open Source. First thing one should do when purchasing a new Dell (or any other brand) is “format c:”, then load one of the Linux distros. Much less confusing, and easier to maintain. Since switching to Linux a few years back, the amount of time I spend on system maintenance has decreased to nearly zero (from several hours per month back in my Windows days), and the software is easily hackable. I am not limited to what I can do with my computer by “vendor lock-in”. A lot of commercial software developers on the high end are going to continue to push the Cloud because that is the easiest way for them to extract dollars per seat, but there are still going to be those who are not pleased with commercial offerings and who want more out of a computer.
    4. The “consumer” market for PC’s will shrink significantly over the next few years (both because of competition with tablets and phones, and because current offerings are powerful enough that one need not upgrade hardware every two or three years).
    So, the PC will not die, but the market will contract significantly, and prices will go up significantly. Successful vendors will have to start focusing on quality, not fashion. Or, purhaps, those of us with the need will be forced back into the mode of building our own systems from scratch. But the PC is here to stay. Just as the PC did not kill the mainframe, new technologies will not kill the PC. If anything kills the PC, it will be the manufacturers who rely on marketing studies to plan their future, rather than listening to their customers…

  4. Charlie says:

    Here in Panama in the electronics stores, one ALREADY sees tablets and smart phones dominating, with the PC’s stuck in the back, out of sight…

  5. Jouni says:

    My guess is that the distinction between phones, tablets and PCs will become a lot less relevant than it is today. Computers are becoming so cheap that soon the manufacturers will start putting in enough computing power for most needs to any device with a decent display. Not because the user would need such power, but just in case.

    Phone is the display you have in your pocket. Tablet or laptop is the display you carry around in your bag. PC is the display you have on your desk. TV is the display you have in your living room. You can easily access your files from any of them, and you can also plug in keyboards, mouses, external storage devices and so on to any of them.

  6. Hong Li says:

    I think the tablet sales will match PC sales soon or later,but the tablet can’t kill PC.The tablet is more suitable for entertainment,while the PC is more suitable for office job.They will lead different market in the future.

  7. @Charlie

    New technologies often do not really kill previous technologies. People still ride on horses. But technologies do become much less relevant.

    I think that if tablet unit sales are twice that of PC unit sales, then, by my definition, the tablet has killed the PC as the dominant paradigm. Indeed, at that point, when you’ll surf the web or enter electronics stores, you’ll see tablets all over, and the PCs will be in the back, a bit hidden.

  8. Sazzad Bin Kamal says:

    Recently I read the following iPhone experience of a person: https://plus.google.com/u/0/106997024604580807053/posts/4M2anWwPDjt

    It appeared to me, such any experience is enough for a person to decide “I should never use i*” 😀

  9. @Sazzad I’m not making any prediction regarding Apple. That is another story.

  10. Steve says:

    One thing that the most powerful tablet still cant do is intense gaming. The PC gaming business shows no sign of slowing and you have to rely on an embedded graphics chip in a tablet whereas in a desktop PC you provide the high end GPU cards

  11. @Steve

    Have you googled “tablet gaming” recently?

  12. Reynold says:

    Tablets will never kill PCs. Some of the reasons:
    1. Luck of keyboard and mouse
    2. Small screen
    3. Not powerful enough to handle advanced tasks