In a viewpoint the author admits is “extremist,” an industry analyst believes that if iOS and Android devices are considered to be substitutes for personal computers, then not only is the latter’s market share going to dip below 50 percent, but collapse is also imminent.
Finland-based Horace Dediu, who runs Asymco, which on LinkedIn is self-described as “a company selling software development and consulting services for companies interested in deploying mobile applications,” published a blog post today that might make some people’s heads explode — particularly those of us without a penchant for numbers. In that post, he charts “The rise and fall of personal computing,” which compares PCs to Macs, iOS and Android devices in shipped units and market share.
In his last graph, Dediu talks about the integration of smartphones into the personal computing space.
I will concede that this last view is extremist. It does not reflect a competition that exists in real life. However, I put this data together to show a historic pattern. Sometimes extremism is a better point of view than conservatism. Ignoring this view is very harmful as these not-good-enough computers will surely get better. A competitor that has no strategy to deal with this shift is likely to suffer the fate of those companies in the left side of the chart. Treating the first share chart as reality is surely much more dangerous than contemplating the third.
As the commenters below the post note, there is no inclusion of Nokia’s Symbian or Research in Motion’s BlackBerry; but in a world that seems increasingly skewed toward Android and iOS, Dediu looks like he’s already made the leap.
As he puts it:
The “entrants” into personal computing, the iPad, iPhone and Android, have a combined volume that is higher than the PCs sold in the same period (358 million estimated iOS+Android vs. 336 million PCs excluding Macs in 2011.) The growth rate and the scale itself combine to make the entrants impossible to ignore.
We’ve seen the addition of iPhones supplementing Macs and PCs at home, and Chromebooks arriving after Android handsets. We’ve also seen the rapid rise of Android, how its handsets have overtaken the iPhone in the U.S., and how its apps in the Android Market will close in on Apple’s, but have we arrived at that moment when smartphones replace the personal computer?
By Athima Chansanchai