The Tablet Takeover Is Here — Let’s Take a Look

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The computer world is experiencing a tablet takeover – and the PC world as we know it may be fading away. At least, that’s what the latest numbers show after the first quarter this year.

The latest IDC report shows a significant surge of 142.4 percent in global sales since this time last year with 49.2 million shipments the opening months of 2013, according to the latest IDC report. These numbers already surpass the total shipments for the entire first half of 2012.

Design & Trend says such massive growth is due to the consumers’ preferences for small-screen devices over PCs.

But the issue may not be about the rise of tablet popularity, but about the decline of PCs. Yahoo News breaks down the latest numbers from IDC’s first quarter report, “PC shipments posted their “steepest decline ever in a single quarter” in Q1 2013, as the 76.3 million PCs shipped represented a 13.9% decline from Q1 2012.”

Financial Times says Windows 8 has actually hurt the PC market as its introduction contributed to “the worst quarter since IDC’s records began in 1994.”

For many reasons, PC makers have failed in providing any competitive advantages to the rise of tablets and TIME Tech notes, “the overriding reason is that selling a tablet is not at all the same as selling a laptop. Being successful doesn’t just require good hardware, it also requires differentiated software (not to be confused with bloatware), ultra-competitive prices and tons of advertising. PC makers aren’t known for any of those things, and it’s hard to see how that’ll change.”

Sure, the portability and convenience of tablets and other mobile devices carry much of the advantage, but Forbes explains there are some qualities of PCs that just cannot be replaced… yet.

“It’s not just my main programs like Microsoft Office that I like, but also lots of little utilities, such as the ones that let me redefine certain keys, or allow me to capture and easily edit portions of the screen. I know there are tablet apps that do some of these same things, and eventually I may shift more of my work to tablets, but I find these apps convenient and even comforting.”

All this chatter got Reuters thinking – maybe the tablet versus PC war doesn’t need to have any casualties. The intense popularity of tablets may ultimately help – not detriment – the future of PCs.

“New things don’t necessarily kill old things. Television was an enormous disrupter of the movie industry, but Hollywood adapted with improvements in audio and video that could not be matched on the home screen. In the TV era, movies and theaters didn’t wither and die. TV improved the movies.

Tablets can do the same for PCs.”

Reuters goes on to stress that PC makers must not dwell on their inconveniences compared to tablets, but find compelling reasons to declare why traditional computers are still relevant.

Still refuse to pick a side? Reuters may have the answer – hybrid devices.

“[W]e’ve only begun to see the possibilities of hybrid devices — offering the promise of the best of both the tablet and laptop world.”
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Living in a Smartphone World

Covering a hot topic in the tech world, I researched and wrote this blogpost for Newsy.

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It’s official – smartphones have taken over. The first quarter of 2013 marks the first time smartphones out-shipped feature phones.

The latest International Data Corporation report shows out of the 418.6 million mobile devices shipped worldwide, smartphones claim 216.2 million – or 51.6 percent – of that tally.

The smartphone market has been on the rise in the past year with a 41.6 percent improvement since the first quarter of 2012.

With these stats, Mobile Marketing Daily numbers the days of the simplistic feature phones, even in emerging markets where standard devices typically hold more popularity.

“This tipping point in the phone market shifts the center of power to those vendors that are most reliant on their smartphone lines.”

Though this may not come as much of a surprise to some, IDC Senior Research Analyst Kevin Restivo validates the shift.

“Phone users want computers in their pockets,” stated Restivo. “The days where phones are used primarily to make phone calls and send text messages are quickly fading away.”

So, which company can call itself the smartphone king? LA Times reports Samsung took a strong lead in the first quarter with 70.7 million smartphone shipments – 32.7 percent in the first quarter, dominating the next top company at 17.3 percent for Apple.

CNet notes clear bumps in shipments for each Top 5 mobile company: Samsung saw a 60.7 percent increase, Apple up 6.6 percent, followed by LG up 110 percent, Huawei up 94 percent, and ZTE up 49 percent.

And Gigaom says Samsung’s throne on the smartphone hierarchy will remain unchallenged.

“Unless Samsung stumbles in a big way, it’s not likely that another Android handset maker will outsell Apple’s iPhone any time soon. For all intents and purposes, Samsung is the de facto Android standard, having built a huge audience with its line of Galaxy smartphones.”

While the fight for global mobile dominance evolves, PC Mag reports the move from big name companies of the past to the emergence of Chinese vendors:

“A year ago, it was common to see previous market leaders Nokia, BlackBerry, and HTC among the top five,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC’s mobile phone team said. “While those companies have been in various stages of transformation since, Chinese vendors, including Huawei and ZTE as well as Coolpad and Lenovo, have made significant strides to capture new users with their respective Android smartphones.” (PC Mag)

And with this surge of smartphones will news apps see a pop in popularity? CNet says, yes.

The app market also saw an 11 percent hike in mobile app downloads over all 2012 downloads combined. The total 13.4 billion downloads raked in $2.2 billion in the these first few months alone.

“Apps have had a huge impact on the way consumers use mobile devices, what they value, and what they expect from smart phones and tablets,” Canalys chief analyst for analytics Adam Daum said in a statement. (CNet)