Dec 8, 2017Industry insights,
Smartphones will be the demise of the PC
The technology landscape has evolved massively in recent years, and it’s fair to say our younger generation are more reliant on their device of choice, and far more accustomed to being connected, than that of their parents. Although there’s no denying just how much our younger generation have come to rely on technology, only this morning and through no fault of my own, I’ve been left without my smartphone. With no way to communicate you suddenly feel vulnerable and isolated. Though for me, I only had to remind myself that for half of my life I (and every other family) managed perfectly fine without smartphone technology, and one day without constant connectivity isn’t really a big deal, even if it felt like it at the time.
The development of the internet in the early 90’s, didn’t really take people by storm. The adoption and use of the internet was seen by many as a business tool that was used primarily for sending emails, rather than the slightly unsecure alternative; a fax. Even browsing online hadn’t really taken off, as not all businesses saw the benefit and didn’t invest in websites. The home PC was seen as a real novelty factor, and even if you were an early adopter, the internet was accessed via dial up connections that were notoriously slow and unreliable. The first real shift in consumers adoption of the internet can be seen in the early 2000s, once laptops became more affordable and accessible, and once the UK became introduced to the benefits of broadband and Wi-Fi.
Fast-forward almost 20 years and the device of choice in the home is more likely to be a tablet or a smartphone, especially with the younger generation. Technology adoption has changed massively, influenced by the development of 3G and then 4G connectivity that means we can be just as connected out-of-home as we are inside. This in turn has shaped the way we use and interact with our connected technology. Information is now expected at the touch of a button and often on the fly. Whilst smartphones and tablets are able to fulfil these demands, the traditional desktop PC is unfortunately too bulky to be considered portable, and a lap top may not offer the flexibility and accessibility that a pocket sized smartphone can provide.
In fact last year saw mobile devices overtake PC for online retail sales in the UK, while the figures on smartphone usage are only set to rise. According to the Office for National Statistics, 71% of us now choose to do our retail consuming via a smartphone or mobile device, closely followed by Laptops at 62% and tablets at 52%. Desktop computers are significantly lower at 40%.
Hopefully my own smartphone will materialise later on tonight and normal operations will resume. If in the meantime you need to get hold of me, friends can find me on Facebook and Connections on LinkedIn. Which proves that even when we are removed unwittingly from our devices, we are never really that far away from being connected.