Tablet shipments rose 75% in the last quarter of 2012 to 52.5 from 29.9 million in 2011. Tablets are now selling at half the rate of PCS. And tablet sales are expected to further soar in the next three years and actually overtake PC sales. And those stats shows that tablets and Smartphones are well on their way to replacing desktops and laptops as the primary way people connect to the Internet. And I find the fact that tablets are selling so furiously while PC sales are crawling along a very interesting one; because it shows a fundamental shift in the way people consume information and media and communicate with each other. For just as the rapid adoption of Smartphones that has occurred in last five and half years (since the iPhone first went on sale in 2007) illustrates a major shift in how people connect to the Internet so too the quickening rate of tablet adoption by consumers is creating a second and larger wave of what we might call the evolution of global 24/7/365 connectivity; that is the ability of people from all walks of life and from all parts of the globe to access the Internet and communicate with others from just about anywhere they are in the world at any time of the day or night.
And the idea that anyone from anywhere in the world will be able to easily access the global information and communications network of the Internet in the near future is a revolutionary idea and a very exciting one! The increasing global connectivity network of the Internet means that more people than ever before will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and learn and communicate with others – even those people that live in isolated regions. And taking that last idea further, the fact that more people than ever before can obtain knowledge and communicate with others via the Internet translates into the fact that more people than ever before can be creative and have more of an opportunity than ever before to fully realize their personal potential. Thus we might wind up with the greatest novelist of the 21st century being a person who grew up poverty in a village in the northwest corner of India and who managed to get her early writings noticed by people and publishers by posting them online. We might find that a phenomenal educator who will transform the American educational system is the daughter of migrant workers and got started on her education by accessing the Internet at public libraries throughout the south western United States. We might see the greatest chef of the 21st century coming from Nigeria and offering his popular cooking show only over the Internet* to those of us who like to cook (and adding some literal new spices to our lives in the process) and we might find that one of the greatest composers of this century is the son of a widowed hotel cook who comes from a small town in Peru and yet was able to hear the works of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and other great classical composers by listening to the London based radio station Classic FM via the TuneIn Radio app on his iPad; and then subsequently composing and recording works on his iPad and getting those early compositions on the Internet for people, including record company executives, to hear.
And I could go on and on but I’ll get off my soap box now! I think I made my point as to why I find the combo of the Internet and mobile technology so exciting – it isn’t just the technology itself that is cool it is what we can do with it via access to the Internet. And how the tool of the Internet will continue to have an even more democratizing impact on people across the globe as time marches on and more and more people have the opportunity to, as the old army slogan, goes be all they can be because they can gain knowledge and communicate with others via Internet access offered on mobile devices. Now that is exciting!
And here are links to two of the many news stories I read online last week regarding the increasing ferocity of tablet sales:
The first article is from the Gigaom site and is colorfully titled Who Tablet Shipments Now More than Half That of the PC – here’s the link:
And the second article is from the Wall Street Journal Digits blog and is titled Amid PC Woes Tablet Shipments Jump 75% – here’s the link:
And having waxed on about the benefits of Internet access from the top of my soap box I’ll get off it now and wish everyone a good Sunday afternoon!
*I believe the streaming of video content from the Internet to portable devices and televisions will eventually become the norm and replace the current media business model of cable companies offering bundled content to consumers at high prices – but then that is the subject of a blog posting all by itself!
Cai, Debbie. Amid PC Woes, Tablet Shipments Jump 75%. Wall Street Journal: Digits blog. Online.
Tofel, Kevin. (2013, January 31). Whoa: Tablet shipments now more than half that of the PC. Gigaom. Online.