The Future of the PC: Downhill from Here?

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There have been many articles published recently discussing and analyzing the decline of the PC. Varying theories and predictions are circulating as to the reasons why, and to what degree the decline will be. Below are a few standout reports introducing us to what sales numbers are indicating.

The Telegraph newspaper reported that worldwide sales of personal computers dropped for a fifth consecutive quarter in the April-June 2013 period, the longest decline in the PC market’s history.  And to go back even earlier this year, IDC issued a press release in April stating that:

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 76.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13), down 13.9% compared to the same quarter in 2012, and worse than the forecast decline of 7.7%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker.

As with any change there are many theories as to why, and this decline in PC sales is no different. A New York Times article from April this year suggested that:

Smartphones and tablets, while not perfect substitutes for PCs, are pulling dollars out of consumers’ wallets that might have otherwise gone to laptop or desktop computers. People are simply more excited about mobile technologies and their touch-screens than they are about buying conventional computers.

In addition, a more recent New York Times article published some interesting numbers around preference changes toward tablets and smartphones vs. PCs:

More than 300 million PCs are expected to be shipped this year globally. Tablet sales are growing explosively as this year there are expected to be more than 200 million shipments of the devices which will for the first time exceed shipments of notebooks, the largest category of PCs.

As PC sales decline, will tablets and other mobile devices match or exceed PC sales? And is all of this bad news? How does this bode for the application developer? That depends, but luckily for Omnis – the recent decline of the PC isn’t a factor. Omnis Studio applications can be run on any platform and literally on any device with access to a web browser. So whatever form factor your clients will be using now or in the future, including PCs, tablets, as well as mobile devices, they will be able to run Omnis Studio apps. Regardless of what platform may be the market leader – Omnis is always relevant.

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