The “post-PC era” is often invoked as a blanket term for the rise of the mobile Internet economy, but doesn’t tell us just how far along we are in the process. Recently released annual data gets to the heart of the matter: Shipments of mobile devices more than doubled PC shipments last year.
Smartphones and tablets combined for an estimated 807 million units shipped, more than twice the 353 million PC units shipped.
Tablet shipments grew 39 per cent in the year to 121 million, or a little over one-third of PC volume. (Fourth quarter tablet shipments of 53 million were in line with our estimate of 56 million.)
Shipments of PCs, meanwhile, actually declined from last year, the first time that has happened since 2001.
The PC is not dead, nor is it on a march toward irrelevance, but it is simply no longer the dominant computing form factor. This is what Steve Jobs meant when he said PCs would be like trucks, to smartphones and tablets’ sedans. PCs are still useful for heavy lifting, but aren’t as popular or efficient.
Here’s a look at quarterly breakdown.
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