PCs, Smart Phones, and Tablets : Winds of Change

William Welbes on May 15, 2013

We are all taking part in one of the fastest shifts in personal computing ever seen. In the 1980’s the personal computer was center stage, rolling out to millions of users across the globe. For the fist time in several years, we are seeing a decline in shipments in personal computers while shipments in smart phones have continued to soar and shipments in tablets are beginning to really take off. In 2010, we saw the number of smart phones shipped exceed the number of PCs shipped. Smart phone adoption world wide has continued to grow each quarter and is expected to continue to grow for several years. In 2012, tablet shipment growth has shown a rapid increase worldwide. Tablet shipments have not yet eclipsed PCs, but many analysts expect that 2013 is going to be the year that we see that point reached. Given the rapid growth in tablets in 2012 and the market indicators in early 2013 that we are seeing, it looks like we will see tablet shipments out-pace PC’s this year.

The graph below shows data gathered from IDC with regards to quarterly shipment estimates for PCs, tablets and smart phones. Graphing out the data really helps to get a perspective on the shift in computing in the past few years.

Smartphone, Tablet and PC Shipments

What does this all mean? Mobile computing is here in force and is reaching critical mass. More and more of the global web traffic is coming from mobile devices. Tablets and smart phones can no longer be ignored from a web and software development perspective. Users are already consuming most services via mobile apps or mobile web. What are you doing to keep up with your mobile users?

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