No such thing as a Post-PC Era

It seems that every day another technical person in the blogosphere has taken a stab at predicting the end of the “PC Era.” I’ll keep this short – There is no such end in sight.

Sure, tablets are flying off the shelves at record paces. Google and Apple are setting sales records, saturating the market with their products and maybe even dipping into the coffers at Microsoft and the big name PC manufacturers like Dell and HP.

Big deal. Im still waiting for someone to show me how this indicates the death of the PC.

First, you cant compare an emerging market to a mature market. That isnt apples to apples. That isnt even apples to oranges. Its like apples to orangutangs.

The tablet market, like the smart phone market, has only existed for handful of years, which means that the demand for the products will continue to be high for some time. The PC market, which reached maturity 25 years ago, has moved from a growth cycle to a replacement cycle. The bottom line, though – PCs are still selling.

If you take standard product cycle into account, the “growth” in the tablet market may actually be a little bit of smoke and mirrors. Since the iPad first hit the scene, the technology of tablets has evolved rapidly which push “older” products into a legacy category faster.The majority of tablet sales have been driven by the consumer market and those consumers have tended to replace first generation products with second and third generation products in order to keep current. In the ’90s, the PC market was quite similar.

Tablets have a long way to go before they will really threaten the PC – not just in market share, but in capability and in longevity of product life cycle. That lifecycle may be the biggest factor of all – eventually the consumer will want a product that is upgradable and whose lifespan can be measured in years, not quarters.

Like the PC.


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