Until recently, mobile phones posed no threat to the PC market. However, it’s now possible to fulfil many of PC’s traditional utilities using nothing more than your android or iPhone. We’re already five years past the peak of the PC market. While nearly everyone will opt for owning both a home computer and a smartphone that is, essentially, a portable one, the question presents itself: what will happen as mobile and tablet continually encroach on PC territory?
Here we examine the current uses of both devices and evaluate which does what better.
A decade ago, an immersive gaming experience meant a PC or console experience. The advantages of these devices in graphics, processing power, and interface – when the control offered by mouse far outmatched that of early touchscreens – ensured the PC’s supremacy. Consequently, this meant that nearly all developers and games companies focussed exclusively on these markets. But currently, mobile gaming is on the rise.
In 2016, mobile gaming sales outstripped those of PC for the first time in history. The explosion of interest in apps, the advances in processors, and the move toward simple games to be enjoyed on the move gave mobile an edge it had not previously possessed. In this instance, the smartphone and PC still occupy slightly different positions in the gaming world. But with mobile’s game market is growing larger, PC’s is falling behind.
Here, mobile is at a distinct advantage. Fundamentally, the reason for this is that any convenience offered by PC is instantly improved when it is transposed onto mobile: because it becomes, essentially, mobile! Companies are not blind to this fact, and offer mobile users many innovative methods to take care of things in a much more streamlined and easy way than on a PC. The online casino site mFortune, for example, offers the option for slots deposit by phone bill, consolidating the payment in a way that wouldn’t be possible using a PC. In effect, players don’t need to link their accounts to any cards or make transfers, as their deposits and winnings are consolidated into their phone bill. It is this kind of flexibility that marks mobile as the clear winner in this category, and there are countless other examples.
At the peak of this curve is Amazon’s checkout-free shop, which utilises mobile technology to obviate the tedious parts of this already quite simple process. Clearly, developers look to mobile when integrating the every-day into technology. Stuck in the home, PCs will never be able to compete.
Here again, mobile and PC still occupy different niches. To date, the large screen and higher processing power make PC the de facto choice for the majority of businesses. This is especially true in an industry like FX or graphic design, where the work entails CPU-hungry tasks such as rendering. The legacy of PCs in the workplace also stands in their favour, as most offices are designed around desktop computers.
However, there are a number of ways in which mobile has transformed many business practices. Field employees – personnel who are required, for whatever reason, to conduct their role outside of the business premises – can now keep in constant contact with their supervisors. More broadly, the connectivity mobile has brought to business has allowed companies to be more responsive, better informed, and more collaborative.
In this last example, PC and mobile seem more complementary than competitive, and this may be the way that things go on to develop. However, excluding touchscreen set-ups, PC tech is falling behind in terms of innovation, while the mobile market remains on the rise.