Is the PC dead or at least on life support? That depends on who you ask. While it’s certainly true that sales numbers have slipped – 2012 had somewhat dismal sales, and 2013 is expected to see those numbers sink lower – there are many who would argue that the PC industry will be with us for a good long time.
While global sales of PCs have dipped below 80 million in a quarter for the first time, some analysts say it’s simply a regular low of any cyclical market, and that numbers will rebound as new technologies and wear and tear on old machines lead consumers and businesses to replace existing PCs.
There is no doubt that mobile devices have had an effect: many people find they can do things on tablets today that they formerly required PCs for, and some households are skipping the PC altogether in favor of tablets and similar devices such as Web-connected gaming devices.
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According to a recent New York Times report, while mobile devices have certainly dented PC sales, there will always be a certain need for the devices, particularly in business settings. The article notes that tablets such as iPads and competitors will “most likely never satisfy spreadsheet masters, film editors and other workers who depend on multiple screens and the precision of a keyboard and mouse.”
Forbes contributor Anthony Leather agrees, noting that new innovations in the PC market may soon catch the eye of device customers who still need what a PC can do that a tablet cannot.
“The PC is still evolving,” writes Leather. “It still represents the pinnacle of technology, and the latest, most expensive PCs that use cutting edge hardware from the likes of Intel and Nvidia, are already faster than the next generation of consoles such as Sony‘s Playstation 4 and Microsoft (News - Alert)‘s Xbox One, and vastly superior to tablets and smartphones.”
Leather notes that PCs today are smaller than ever before, have new monitor capabilities (some with build in monitors) and even offer touch-screen capabilities. Larger displays will continue to be necessary, he writes, for gamers, photo and video editors or individuals interested in using 3D displays.
So is the PC dying? While the mobile device community may tell you “yes,” it seems likely that the industry will continue to have a large niche carved out, both in homes and enterprises, for many years to come.
Edited by Alisen Downey