According to a new report published by IC Insights, more money is going to be spent on the parts that make up mobile phones than the parts that make up personal computers in 2013. Their exact numbers: $65.1 billion will be spent on PC components next year, whereas mobile phone component spend is expected to hit $70.7 billion. How confident can we be with IC Insights’ prediction? Let’s not kid ourselves, the PC market has peaked. Not only that, it’s actually in decline. That’s not to say that today’s computers are unattractive products, because that would be an outright lie. It’s just that PCs reached the “good enough” plateau years ago. Smartphones on the other hand, every 12 months they get twice as good, if not better.
There’s also the whole tablet thing. There’s a dirty secret that no one wants to bring up. Most people don’t need PCs. Most people could do everything they need to do on a 7 or 10 inch piece of glass. If you stop and think about normal folks, your parents for insistence, you know this to be true. How’s this new reality going to impact what hardware makers build? Will they risk making yet another Windows laptop or will they shove Android on a tablet and hope they can score a 3% margin on parts and labor?
You don’t need us to tell you any of this. The little computers in your pocket are the computers of the future. Laptops will get faster, sure, and they’ll get sharper screens, but they’re not the first thing you grab in the morning and the last thing you touch before going to bed at night. That reason alone is why companies are building more phones; they’re products people love, versus computers, which are products people tell themselves they need for work or school.