Smartphones and tablets are only good for unimportant tasks, says survey

Would you consolidate devices if you could?

The graph I've embedded above comes from a survey conducted on behalf of virtualization software company Parallels, and it succinctly illustrates one of the main questions related to the value of mobile and embedded technology: When one machine duplicates the functionality of another, do you consolidate?

The survey, which polled a modest group of 210 individuals, shows a nearly perfect split between those who would consider consolidation and those who wouldn't (50.5% said they would, 49.5% said they would not.) It is a question of special value to a virtualization company like Parallels, and proof that device convergence is still a tough nut to crack. When one device gains the ability to do the job of another, users still aren't convinced they should drop the device that's been "replaced."

This division could be attributed, at least in part, to the fact that users consider the same tasks to be equally important on both fixed and mobile platforms.

Users in the survey ranked work email, work-related productivity applications, and personal email as the most important activities that they could do on their PC or Mac; and unsurprisingly ranked these same activities as the most important ones on tablets and smartphones.

Yet the activities where mobile devices are undoubtedly having the strongest impact --photography, gaming, music, and social networking-- are at best considered only moderately important.

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