Tablets are the future of the PC, says researcher
Fondleslabs to eat into laptop sales, boost desktops
Ask Frank Gillett, a researcher with market watcher Forrester, whether tablets are going to dominate how people interact with content and the internet - what most folk do with laptops and such - and the answer is a resounding 'yes'.
He reckons that "tablets will become the preferred, primary device for millions of people around the world" as users come to appreciate their advantages.
"Tablets aren’t the most powerful computing gadgets," says Gillett, "but they are the most convenient. They have longer battery life and always-on capabilities better than any PC — and will continue to be better at that than any ultrathin laptop," he says, enumerating tablets' virtues.
"That makes them very handy for carrying around and using frequently, casually, and intermittently even where there isn’t a flat surface or a chair on which to use a laptop."
But what about the old content consumption and creation dichotomy? Says Frank: tablets are great for the former, but they'll get into the latter as developers code creative apps for them.
"They’ll get a lot better as developers get used to building for touch-first interfaces, taking advantage of voice input, and adding motion gestures," he says.
Source: Forrester Research
Not that the PC is going away. Gillett forecasts that some two billion laptops and desktops will be in use by 2016. Tablets will eat into PC sales for sure, but only partially.
In fact, they'll actually help desktop sales, Gillett believes, with punters - "especially information workers", he says - opting for a powerful stationary machine for creative work and content management, and a tablet for accessing that content in a convenient way.
In the meantime, tablet sales will rise year on year, hitting 375m in 2016, up from 56m in 2011. Come 2016, the installed base of tablets will be in the region of 760m units, Gillett says. That amounts to almost 40 per cent of the installed base of PCs by then. ®
And bell bottomed trousers are the future of pants ... er trousers. So are flying cars in every driveway, Microsoft's BOB and Apple's Pippin. And electricity from nuclear power plants will be "too cheap to meter".
Re: What's it called?
Hmmm. I must be unusual then because I find sitting in a comfortable chair at home with a laptop on my lap a very easy and relaxing way to work. Never tried it while falling downstairs though. Maybe that would help too.
Tablet to become the desk top
How about the tablet will become (a few more performance iterations will be required) the desktop.
All you need is a docking station with a decent monitor/mouse/keyboard.
You plug in your tablet (or compute unit) the OS then switches to desktop mode (aka Windows 8) and you use it in the traditional way.
Undock it and it switches to tablet mode. Most of the recently used info will be cached locally on the tablet with a sync to "the cloud" via wi-gi/3G.
Obviously the one thing that will be required will be a docking station standard.
Re: assuming retired after 3 years
...and not cost as much as a far more powerful laptop too.
'Become the Primary Device' my arse. If they were more convenient most/all of the time then people with tablets would already have made the switch. You do your real work on a proper terminal with a display, keyboard and mouse and/or stylus thingy for designers and the like. Tablets are for showing off, angry birds and reading and replying to docs/emails on the go (most likely in that order of importance.) Of course they will become more prominent as people figure out more things they can do on the go instead of in the office but to seriously suggest a device that eats half it's own screen when you want to type (and rarely gives you the characters you tried to type anyway) will become the main device only implies the suggestion comes from someone who doesn't have any real work to do.
I of course do have real work to do, which is why I waited 'til my break to browse el reg and post... yes, that sounds plausible enough.