Sounding the desktop death knell as mobile devices edge them out of the market
In the past, a cost chasm separated the laptops from the desktop. Mobility, it seemed, came at a price. Businesses opted to buy the more pricy laptops for those who needed it most, furnishing the rest with the more reasonably priced desktops. The dropping prices of laptops reduced the gap in price to a mere $50. A mere $50 it seems, that most companies are finding it easier to justify.
It’s not just the competitive pricing that’s contributing to the untimely demise of the desktop; a growing trend to bring your own device to work (BYOD) has seen companies save on hardware costs as employees prefer to utilize their own devices instead of the trusty old desktop. Cloud technology provides centralized functionality that helps to promote the use of personal devices such as tablets, smartphones and laptops.
This year’s sales figures reflect the changing landscape with laptops taking 68% of the market, up from previous years which saw a more even 50/50 split. There are several inherent advantages to owning a laptop:
- Mobility: the smaller, thinner and lighter the laptop gets, the more portable they become
- They take up less desk space
- Increased productivity as employees are able to take them home to work
- Negates the need to work late at the office which increases employee satisfaction
- Telecommuting is possible as the employee does not need a computer at home and at the office
The laptop is not the only device that is giving the desktop a run for its money. Tablet sales increased by 150% over the last quarter, making it one of the fastest growing hardware markets in the business. Microsoft will be developing Office applications for the iPad which will bolster support for this emerging technology. Cloud technology negates the need for large software purchases or large volumes of information to be stored in giant desktop hard drives.
It’s not only the emerging technologies that threaten the denizens of the desk; it’s also their old nemesis, the Apple Mac. Apple Mac sales have increased by 20.7% while desktop sales dropped by 5.9% overall. This means that Apple managed to take a large bite out of the PC pie. Those who love their desktops need not fear. The good old desktop isn’t dead just yet. It still has its advantages over the new devices which include:
- Large screens which are important for those who spend lots of time on the computer and like to see all the little details
- Ergonomics; good office chairs and desktops are far more comfortable than hunching over a laptop
- Storage on a desktop can’t be beat
- Typing on a real keyboard is much easier than a laptop’s often cramped keyboard can afford
It seems the days of the desktop dominance are numbered, so enjoy them while you can.