Posted by:Monica Samuel August 25th, 2011

2011 has truly been the year of tablets. Apple’s second gen iPad 2, RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 and host of other Android tablets have come out to take over 20% of the tablet market that was hitherto all Apple’s. The growth in tablets is not only making the industry highly competitive but also putting pressure on PC manufacturers.

What’s appealing about tablets?

According to an analysis, 14% of new iPad owners opted to purchase an iPad in place of a PC. And it’s not just iPad that’s taking attention away from PCs, at least for home users. There has been amazing growth in tablet design and capabilities. Powerful processors, lightweight touchscreen optimized operating systems, lower energy consumption, brilliant high resolution multi-touch screens, gigabytes of RAM, multiple connectivity options (USB, WiFi, 3G, LTE), up to 64GB internal storage, SD/microSD  support, battery life of 6-10 hours, and multimedia capabilities are common to all the tablets available today.

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There are options in sizes too ranging from dual 5.5 inch screens on Sony S2 to 7inches on BlackBerry PlayBook and Acer Iconia Tab A100 to 9.4 inches on iPad 2 to 10.1inches on Motorola XOOM and others. RIM, Cisco, Apple, and Samsung have added enterprise-friendly features with improved data and device security to become strong contenders in theenterprise mobility space.

With accessories such as Bluetooth keyboards, USB cables, docking stations, and more available, tablets perform close to full fledged PCs. Then there are loads of apps, free or economically priced, that allow most people to work and enjoy media and games at half the price of a PC. They’re perfect for home users, field workers, and professionals.

Are PC sales going down only because of tablets?

In the quarter ending April 2011, PC sales fell by 3.2%. Warc.com reports HP’s consumer PC sales went down 23% and Dell’s by 7.5%. IDC revised its PC sales forecast in June, reducing growth to 4.2% from 7.1%. In contrast, iPad 2 sales amounted to 9.25 million in the July quarter alone. According to Gartner, PC shipments were just 84.3 million units in the first quarter of 2011. That’s a 1.1% year-on-year decline and it’s been particularly marked in the US with a decline of 6.1%.

Gartner and IDC agree that PC makers are facing hard competition from tablets but that’s not the only factor behind the fall of PC sales. ‘While it’s tempting to blame the decline completely on the growth of media tablets, we believe other factors, including extended PC lifetimes and the lack of compelling new PC experiences, played equally significant roles,’ says Bob O’Donnell, program vice-president at IDC.

Jay Chou, senior research analyst at IDC, believes PC manufacturers have a harder task ahead of them, that of convincing users of the value of PCs beyond simple hardware specifications. ”Good-enough computing’ has become a firm reality, exemplified first by mini-notebooks and now media tablets. Macroeconomic forces can explain some of the ebb and flow of the PC business, but the real question PC vendors have to think hard about is how to enable a compelling user experience that can justify spending on the added horsepower.’

So, eager to learn why your business MUST take notice of Mobility ? Or want to decide which app is a right fit for your business? Download your choice !

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