Will era of tablets replace PCs?

Will era of tablets replace PCs: this is one of the most debated questions of the year. However, different people use devices to perform different tasks. No doubt, there is a drop in the demand of PCs in 2011. According to Gartner, an information technology research firm, global PC shipments are now forecast to grow by 9.3 % in 2011 as compared to 10.5% estimated by the firm earlier. Sales of tablets have diminished the popularity of traditional PCs. Tablet computers, the mobile computers that are larger than a mobile phone have an integrated touch screen. The form factor differs but the most common one is called “slate”.

Tablets are more popular because of their use as an entertainment device. E-books, social networking, videos, images, chatting and similar activities are a favourite in tablets. However, when it comes to some serious heavy work like typing, tablets can be unmanageable with their small screens. But in today’s world, mobility wins over functionality. Tablets are portable and hence match with the high speed world. During the 2000s, Microsoft attempted an unsuccessful product line, Microsoft Tablet PC. It created a niche market in hospitals and outdoor businesses. But with the launch of ipad in 2010, tablets have brought a revolution in technology. Growth in the laptop market has been affected by ipad. When ipad was launched in 2010, 3 million of the devices were sold in 80 days. The total sale of ipad represented 75% of the tablet PC sales by the end of 2010. Since the launch of ipad2 in March 2011, 15 million of the devices have been sold. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 remains the closest rival to the ipad. There is no doubt of the popularity of the tablets but the question remains: will they replace PCs completely?

The answer weighs slightly more on the negative side. Tablets offer unbelievable convenience. Employees can check their work anywhere which helps them keep information with them wherever they go. However, security standards are an issue. According to a survey, two-thirds of tablet users do not regularly back up data on their devices. Surveys reveal that the tablets are used for mostly for gaming, chatting, browsing, shopping, watching videos etc. When it comes to programming, editing videos, typing out lengthy assignments, or any other document creation, PCs are used. For consumers, tablets are becoming quite a favourite but in industry, for content creation and developing software or programming, computers are still used. Also, business-oriented tablets are not in demand in the market from 2001 to date. Smaller display, touch screen, security standards etc. all these add as negative points to be used in content creation. Virtual typing can be a hindrance if needed for long hours. Thus, the tablets will not replace the PCs quickly. There may be significant downfall in the sale of PCs but in industries for content creation and programming, PCs will find their use.

Note: The data is collected through secondary research.

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