Mobile Devices to Overtake PCs This Year

deloitte-computer-sales-jan-2011.JPGThere will be a significant consumer and enterprise shift away from the desktop and laptop PC in favor of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and netbooks in 2011, according to a new white paper from Deloitte. “Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions 2011” forecasts that out of $815 million which will be spent globally on PC- and non-PC computing devices, $375 million (46%) will be spent on smartphones.

The second- and third-largest revenue drivers will still be traditional laptops ($200 million, 24.5%) and desktops ($150 million, 18%). However, the remaining $90 million will consist of tablets ($50 million, 6%) and netbooks ($40 million, 5%). This means a combined 57% of 2011 computing device sales will consist of non-PC devices.

Rumors of the PC’s Death are Exaggerated

Deloitte estimates the current worldwide PC install base at more than 1.5 billion units, and PC device sales are expected to increase 15% year-over-year in 2011. By the end of 2011, Deloitte projects mobile devices will represent about 25% of the global computing device install base.

No Standard non-PC OS Seen

By the end of 2011, Deloitte predicts that no operating system will take control of the fast-growing non-PC computing market, which includes smartphones and the new generation of tablets. Some operating systems will capture more than a 5% share, but no single player will have yet become the de facto standard, as seen in previous computing ecosystems.

Enterprises Drive Tablet Growth

In 2011, Deloitte predicts that enterprises will purchase more than 25% of all tablet computers sold worldwide, a figure that is likely to increase in 2012 and beyond. Although some commentators view tablets as consumer devices, more than 10 million of these devices will likely be purchased by enterprises in 2011. Consumer demand for tablets is expected to remain strong; however, enterprise demand is likely to grow even faster, although from a lower base.

‘C’ is for Cookie

Deloitte expects media criticism of online privacy to continue in 2011; however, legislative and regulatory changes that impact the way websites gather, share, and exploit user information will be minor. Cookies, which are the small files of personal information that websites create on a visitor’s computer, are very likely to remain core to the online user experience. While new online privacy legislation is expected to be modest, Deloitte predicts the online industry will likely become far more proactive when tackling privacy issues, expanding their efforts to influence legislation and increasing their level of self-regulation with the goal of avoiding new legislation altogether.

Mobile Email Rises

In one sign of rising mobile devices being used for functions once handled by PCs, during November 2010, the number of visitors to web-based email sites declined 6% compared to the previous year, while email engagement declined at an even greater rate, according to new comScore MobiLens data. However, during the same time period, the number of users accessing email via their mobile devices grew by 36%.