There's little doubt that PC sales are flagging. All the currently available data points to the fact that people -- consumers and enterprise alike -- are keeping their PCs for longer. One of the reasons is that mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are competing for people's attention -- and cash.
An infographic drawn up by OnlineClasses.org pulls together data from a number of sources to show just what a powerhouse the tablet is, and how is appears set to take over from the PC.
There's a lot contained in that infographic that should worry PC OEMs. The first data point that caught my eye was how an incredible one in four tablet owners now say that their slate has become their primary computer. That's a huge shift considering that until 2010 and Apple's launch of the iPad, tablets were virtually unknown, both in homes and businesses. This adoption has been so rapid that within 18 months, tablets had found their way into 11 percent of U.S. homes, making their adoption faster than any other piece of technology in history.
Tablets are also gaining huge traction with businesses, with three out of four American enterprises adopting them in some way.
The adoption of tablets is increasing at such a pace, it is now estimated that their sales will surpass that of PCs by as early as 2016.
Much has been written about how PCs are dying. While I have no doubt that their importance is diminishing, I think that it is far too early to write an obituary. PCs -- desktops and notebooks alike -- continue to be the primary workhorses, and no matter how good tablets are currently, this is not going to change for some time to come.
PC sales may be down. This is because of changing attitudes towards how often they need to be replaced. But there's little to suggest that overall PC usage, along with their importance, is waning.
Image source: OnlineClasses.org.