Look at any of the PC sales or shipment reports from research firms over the past few years and the outlook is not all that positive. It has flattened out for many vendors and in some cases declined, leading some to declare the PC era all but over.
Those stating that PCs are dead, however, may want to see what 2020 holds, according to Chris Buchanan, client solutions director at Dell Technologies. “It turns out the PC’s death has been exaggerated,” he explains, pointing to a recent Gartner report in which PC sales grew between 1.1 percent and 1.5 percent in the past year.
Times are a changing
“While those don’t sound like massive leaps, they represent a large market that has been declining for several years. Windows 10 is credited for this surge, especially as Windows 7 is leading towards its end of life,” he notes.
“But I don’t think that is the entire picture. Windows 10 upgrades have been taking place for several years, and the market has also gotten savvier about managing EOL. Other factors are driving the adoption of PCs,” Buchanan adds.
One significant aspect that the Dell exec points to is the shrinking gap in terms of smartphone and PC experiences, with the latter beginning to integrate more smartphone-esque elements to deliver a better overall user experience.
“Certain things are much easier to do on a PC than a phone, and users are realising this. They aren’t relinquishing the convenience of their smartphones but applications are now available on PC’s and often easier to use,” he says.
The rise of convertibles
Leading the charge for notebooks in 2020 will be convertible or 2-in-1 devices according to Buchanan. This as the user experiences on such products is far similar to a smartphone than they are on a tablet.
“You can now flip a laptop into tent mode and use it as an interactive presentation screen on a boardroom table, or cradle it like a clipboard you jot on with a digital pen. In the next year, we’ll see more of the market responding to this trend,” he highlights.
2-in-1 devices also open up avenues for new experiences and innovation, Buchanan enthuses, pointing to two of the concept devices that Dell recently unveiled at CES 2020 earlier this year.
“Dell revealed two such concept devices at CES this year: Project Duet, a dual screen laptop, and Project Ori (for origami), a more compact approach to foldable devices. We also unveiled Project UFO, a prototype Alienware device that puts triple-A PC gaming into a handheld device,” Buchanan says.
A multitasking dream
“All of these reflect the desire for touch-enabled devices that are portable without sacrificing performance or excellence. They definitely point us to the future,” he posits.
Shifting to desktop PCs, Buchanan notes how this form factor of product is also undergoing change, as consumers are wanting the greater versatility that these devices offer.
The overlap for smartphone is evident here to, with users wanting to access services like WhatsApp for desktop on their PCs. This as the increased screen real estate makes multitasking far easier.
“There is a new synergy between the PC and smartphone, created by users who find the two complement each other. Not everyone has realised this yet, but in 2020 that will be the resounding message,” adds Buchanan.
“The PC is back and 2020 will be its year,” he proclaims in conclusion.