Articles about Post-PC Era

More people spend via their phones as the world goes "mobile first"

Mobile shopping

Mobile advertising company InMobi has announced the results of its 2014 Mobile Media Consumption Report.

Based on research covering over 14,000 respondents in 14 countries, the findings show that we’re increasingly living in a "mobile first" world with 60 percent now using a mobile as their primary or only means of going online.

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Sony sells VAIO, cuts 5,000 jobs and exits PC manufacturing

sony-store

Sony is pulling out of the PC business and is selling the VAIO brand to Japanese investment fund Japan Industrial Partners (JIP). The announcement came after industry speculation about what might be happening in Sony's future after the company responded to rumors that it was in talks with Lenovo about a possible sale by saying that it was looking to "address various options for the PC business". No details about the fees involved have yet been revealed, but it is hoped that an agreement will be reached by the end of March.

Citing "drastic changes in the global PC industry", Sony's announcement came as the company revealed its financial results for Q3 2013. Analysis of the results showed that the "target of returning the TV and PC businesses to profitability will not be achieved within the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014", hence the need for reform. This means that Sony will now concentrate "its mobile product lineup on smartphones and tablets". An estimated 5,000 jobs will be lost.

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Google's Motorola sale is more about Nest than Samsung

secrets shock surprise man woman

Like lots of other people, overnight I pondered Google's surprise sale of Motorola to Lenovo. The timing sure seems odd. Conspiracy theories abound. Among tech bloggers, Samsung ranks as top reason, given the timing, just days after the American and South Korean companies cut a lofty cross-patent deal that also turns way down the extent of Android customization. Certainly the latter agreement is important to Google, for reasons I laid out two years ago in post "Google has lost control of Android".

Some conspiracy theorists contend that Google always planned to sell Motorola and rebuilt the brand only to gain leverage against Samsung, which arguably exercises more direct influence over Android than does Google -- at least from a user experience perspective. But I disagree. The Motorola unloading is a lot more about the search and information giant's acquisition of Nest than anything Samsung does. My reasoning follows.

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Dell puts cloud access in your pocket

Dell Cloud Connect

PC and server specialist Dell is launching a new mobile cloud access device that delivers a full HD user experience on any HDMI or MHL enabled display.

The company claims that Dell Wyse Cloud Connect is a completely new end-user device category, bridging thin clients and mobile devices to promote BYOD.

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PC and Mac games revenue to top $24 billion by 2017

PC gamer

We've been focusing a lot on the decline of the PC hardware market of late, but the software spend still looks strong. The latest survey from market intelligence specialist IDC predicts that PC and Mac gamer spending will grow to over $24 billion by 2017.

It also finds that while global PC/Mac games revenue is set to grow at around four percent a year the US market will start to slip.

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Final 2014 prediction: the end of the PC as we knew it

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We’re generally a Macintosh shop here in Santa Rosa. I have Windows and Linux PCs, too, but most of the heavy lifting is done on Macs. Next Wednesday I’m expecting a delivery from B&H Photo (no tax and free shipping!) of four new iMacs plus some software totaling $5,407. I fully expect these to be the last personal computers I will ever buy.

How’s that for a 2014 prediction?

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Lenovo takes the lead in (still) shrinking PC market

Declining PC

For most of the last year it seems that we've been reporting the decline of the PC market. At the beginning of December we even had IDC saying that shipments had seen their greatest decline ever.

No surprise then that on the figures for the final quarter of 2013 both IDC and Gartner are saying that shipments have declined again. The good news though is that there are signs of the decline bottoming out.

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Surface had a good Christmas, appears to be selling well

Happy man

Three days ago I wrote about Flurry’s findings regarding tablet activations on Christmas day. As was expected, Amazon enjoyed a massive 24x bump, and Apple and Samsung activations, while far less spectacular, both doubled. Flurry only covered those three firms and Acer, so there was no way of knowing how well other manufacturers had fared.

Today online advertising network Chitika releases its report, the result of examining post-Christmas changes in North American web traffic share, and this shows usage gains from Amazon, a minor drop from Apple, and -- perhaps most surprisingly -- strong gains for Microsoft’s Surface range.

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Tablet activations surge over Christmas, but it's not all good news

tablet gift

Unsurprisingly tablets proved to be a very popular gift this Christmas. According to mobile measurement firm Flurry, device activations were up by 63 percent on Christmas day, compared to any other average day in December.

Flurry’s activation figures cover Amazon, Apple, Acer, and Samsung and reveal an interesting trend. While all four tech firms enjoyed a major bump on the day, activations were much lower this year than in the previous two years.

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Surprise! The global PC monitor market sees positive growth for a change

Success graph on monitor

The PC market might still be in the doldrums, but there’s good news in the screen department at least. After three quarters of solid decline, the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Monitor Tracker finally reports some growth.

Although year-over-year growth was down -8.6 percent in 3Q13, due to the ongoing decline in PC sales, monitor shipments topped more than 35 million units, 1.2 million over the forecast, and showed an increase of 4.5 percent compared to the previous quarter.

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You may not want that Windows Bay Trail tablet after all

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An old friend has been telling me for months that the future of personal computing was coming with new Windows tablets using the Bay Trail system-on-chip architecture built with Intel Silvermont cores. Silvermont is the first major Atom revision in years and is designed to be much faster. Bay Trail would lead to $199 8-inch Windows tablets while also fixing the limitations of Intel’s previous Clover Trail. Well Bay Trail units are finally shipping but my techie friend is sorely disappointed with his.

The lure of this platform for Intel is great. Manufacturers could use the same chassis and chipsets for everything except gaming boxes and servers. Eight inch tablets, ChromeBooks, Ultrabooks, 10-inch tablets, and netbooks, all one chassis with up to 4GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. One size fits all for home, car, travel, and work.

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The PC is dying, and the tablet's future isn't looking so healthy now either

first aid tablet

There are several explanations as to why PC sales are so dire. Users have few compelling reasons to upgrade -- existing systems can still run all the latest software, and touch really isn’t the major selling point that manufacturers believe it to be. The rise of the tablet has played a major role in the PC’s demise too, providing casual users with a more flexible alternative.

While tablets have enjoyed rapid growth over the past couple of years, and phenomenal sales numbers will surely be racked up this holiday season, the International Data Corporation (IDC) has sounded a word of caution, lowering its tablet shipment forecasts, and predicting growth to start slowing by as soon as next year.

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What's next for tablet technology?

tablet tech

The iPad wasn't the first tablet on the market, but it was certainly the first to capture the public's attention in a big way. And now, we live in a world where predictions tell us nearly weekly that the reign of the desktop PC is coming to an end.

That may or may not be true, but the fact remains: the tablet is here to stay, and it’s one of the fastest-selling electronic devices in recent history. While the newly unveiled iPad Air and iPad mini Retina are bringing people in droves to local Apple stores, Google continues to impress with its Android-powered Nexus tablets, and Windows-based tablet computers like the Surface 2 are gaining traction in an increasingly crowded market.

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Global PC shipments record sharpest annual decline EVER

PC mass grave

It seems like we’re forever posting stories about the decline of the PC, and here’s another one. This time, IDC is delivering the bad news, and make no mistake, it is bad news. Catastrophic news in fact, because IDC says worldwide PC shipments are experiencing the "most severe yearly contraction on record".

Shipments were expected to fall by 9.7 percent in 2013, but IDC has revised that estimate to a worse 10.1 percent. Next year the outlook isn't expected to be quite as bad, but things are still going to be very bleak, even in emerging markets, the traditional primary growth area for the PC.

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Microsoft showcases new devices for 'New Windows'

new windows

Windows 8.1, like its predecessor, is designed to run on a multitude of different devices -- desktop PCs, laptops, tablets and hybrids. When Microsoft first unveiled Windows 8 last year, there weren’t many products which really took advantage of the new Modern UI.

Fast forward to present day, and that’s all changed, with loads of touch screen devices available from all the major manufacturers including ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Nokia, and Samsung.

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