The industry is at a tipping point as computing is redefined by user experience and the evolution of transparent computing, says market research firm IDC, predicting that tablets will become an extension of PCs just like notebooks were for desktops over 20 years ago.
Looking into the future of personal computing IDC deduces that the advancement of computing no longer starts and ends with the nominal personal computer. Since the first smartphone in 2000, and the introduction of the tablet a decade later, we have witnessed an explosion of mobile form factors and a breakneck rate of innovation in hardware and software. These form factors are now extensions of personal computing.
Complacency and a lack of innovation among OEM vendors and other parts of the PC ecosystem has occurred over the past five years. As a result, PC market growth flattened in 2012 and may stagnate in 2013 as users continue gravitating to ever more powerful smartphones and tablets.
This year, over 2 billion users will access the Internet, IDC notes. What makes this compelling is not the number of users going online, but rather the number of devices that will be used to gain access. Over half of these users will access the Internet with mobile devices, which means that system OEMs and semiconductor suppliers need to emphasize technology that offers better performance, optimizes power for all day mobility, and drives integration and cost savings by leveraging heterogeneous SoC-based solutions across every form factor.
The introduction of a new category of Ultrabooks comes at an important time for the PC industry, which is at a crossroad as established vendors struggle to reinvent their business models and remain relevant in personal computing. IDC expects that this year the industry will see an acceleration in investment and innovation in technology, design, materials science, and software platforms that cut across personal computing form factors. This is the reinvigoration that the PC market needs to change course, and initiatives like the Ultrabook category are just the first step in the PC industry’s new path.
“The growth of the industry is very clear; the key challenge will not be what form factor to support or what app to enable, but how will the computing industry come together to truly define the market’s transformation around a transparent computing experience. In the end, consumers will demand the same level of simplicity and convenience on any device and for any service,” says Mario Morales, Program Vice President, Semiconductors and EMS at IDC.
IDC’s latest study, The Ultrabook Experience: How It Will Redefine Personal Computing (Doc #238999), provides IDC’s perspective on upcoming features and user experiences that consumers should expect to see over the next two years in mobile computing. Where is the innovation going to be in form factor, and what is the market timing of key technologies and user interfaces that enable a richer computing experience?
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