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Wintel Share Slowing, But Sales Not Declining

There is a lot of confusion about what is happening with Wintel PC and laptop devices. Before smartphones and tablets, these machines had around 95 percent of the market share, with Mac and Linux picking up the crumbs. Now that all kinds of new devices are counted as computers (Kindles, Droids, iPhones, and the like) Wintel share is down to about 36 percent.

Sounds dire, right? Not really. Keep in mind that Wintel sales have grown each and every year. It is just that smartphones and tablets, which often come free with a voice or data plan, have also grown. And since they are generally cheaper (and because we all already have PCs), they have grown faster. According to IDC these devices will keep on chugging, pushing Wintel down share to 25 percent in the next three years.

This is the greatest example of comparing apples to oranges since Kim Kardashian went produce shopping (she's not all that bright you see).

Different devices are used for different things. My son David uses his phone to text and call. He uses his Mac for longer e-mails, school papers, surfing and to write music.

Everyone I know has some kind of a PC and a smartphone. And everyone I know that has a tablet (and that's a lot of people) also has some kind of PC and a smartphone. It is not either-or. And to take market share away from PCs because someone bought a phone is just plain stupid.

I know it makes great headlines to call for the death of the PC, as Gartner so erringly did recently , but it is simply not good research.

What is interesting, however, is time spent on various devices, and here I do see phones and tablets taking over many tasks when one is remote. Heck, I relied on my BlackBerry for a week at Cebit in Gernany recently, but have to admit I missed my Dell Latitude rather desperately by the second day.

How much of your computing time is spent on phones or tablets? Fire up the nearest computing device and let me know at

Posted by Doug Barney on 04/02/2012 at 1:19 PM


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