Enthusiasm for both tablets and smart phones continue to rise with the PC ecosystem in decline. Some of the details of this shift were in a recent article (see: The Shift: as tablets surge, PCs lose):
Last week when Intel announced that it was going to miss its financial targets for rest of the year, it was another testament to the shift of computing from PCs to tablets. New research from JP Morgan only reaffirms the shift to tablets....Last week, Intel, the largest chip maker in the business, pre-announced that it would miss its already lowered estimates for the remainder of the year, mostly because of softening demand for its PC-focused chips. Intel blamed the macro-economic slowdown on softening corporate PC demand, a sluggish Europe and increasingly skittish growth economies like India and China. Intel’s announcement comes close on the heels of a similar warning from its rival, AMD. What gives Intel’s forecast a doomsday-like quality is the fact that it comes weeks before the launch of Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows 8....So if Intel is experiencing softening demand for chips, then it is not hard to imagine Microsoft navigating choppy waters as well....JP Morgan’s research team pointed out that other suppliers to the PC ecosystem – hard disk drive makers — are going to suffer as well.The traditional PC ecosystem also has another challenge — competition for attention and dollars from cheaper, more sexy devices such as smartphones and tablets....JP Morgan’s Tablet forecast has the answer [about what this all of this means]:Our revised 2012 tablet revenue estimate is $57.7 billion, versus $52.8 billion previously. Our revised tablet unit estimate is 118.5 million, versus 106.8 million previously.
For me, all of this seems pretty clear as it applies to lab professionals including pathologists. It's also relevant for physicians and nurses. Any mobile physician will be drawn inexorably toward mobile computing devices -- tablets and smart phones. The choice between them will be made on the basis of how much screen real restate is required. Both devices can be used for relatively simple tasks such as reviewing patient history, making simple progress notes, or entering drug orders. Power computing will continue to be performed in offices using PCs and Macs. If supplied by the hospital or department for work, these will be commodity purchases with a restricted set of apps for reasons of security and easy maintenance. Also look for the availability of more powerful tablets that will rival the computing power of some PCs. You will be able to attach them to larger and more sophisticated keyboards for power computing tasks.
Most importantly of all, we need to develop a new, or broader, definition for mobile computing. Here's the reason why (see: The living room PC is here: the iPad):
Apple has sold about 40 million iPads since 2010. Of the iPad owners McKinsey surveyed, it found that 62 percent never take their iPad outside their house. In other words, it’s being used as just another home computer, like a replacement laptop for tasks such as watching video or browsing the web. While the iPad is “finding its way into places in the home we didn’t have computing in the past,” the living room is where people use their iPad: 70 percent of usage takes place there. Said [an industry expert]: “The PC tried to get into the living room for 20 years. Well, it’s here.” The side effect of iPad owners finding their iPad good enough for certain computing tasks at home is a delay in plans to buy a new PC. You can see that in the slowly declining PC sales over the last few quarters: By the end of this year, IDC expects worldwide PC shipments will have grown a measly 2.8 percent compared to 2010.