Deloitte debunks ‘post PC era’ as myth – ‘Tablet computers replace paper, not PCs’

15 Jan 2013

Deloitte has dismissed the claim that we are in the “post-PC era” and says that while tablet computers have made inroads into traditional PC sales the only thing that tablets replace is paper.

The 2013 forecast by the Technology, Media & Telecommunications Group reveals while companies around the world have purchased 30m tablet computers, only between 10m and 15m are actually being used as PC replacements.

It says that, in fact, they replace paper, not PCs, with pilots taking tablets into the cockpit, doctors reviewing medical records on them in hospitals and restaurants using them to present wine lists.

While the enterprise PC installed base is about 500m, at most 15m enterprise tablets are being used as someone’s principal computing device. Fewer than 5m of these are complete PC replacements, where employees had PCs taken away and now rely solely on tablets to do 100pc of their work tasks.

“We are not in a ‘post-PC era’,” says Deloitte Ireland partner Harry Goddard.

“We are in the era of ‘PC Plus.’ PCs have larger screens, full- or mid-size keyboards and mice and are therefore more favourable for certain tasks, such as reviewing documents, browsing the web or watching video.

“The Deloitte Ireland 2012 CIO Survey also observes this trend – only 3pc of respondent Irish CIOs identified tablets as an alternative to laptops, reflecting the laptop/PC as the preferred content creation device for the foreseeable future,” Goddard said.

Software is eating the media

While the tablet may not replace the PC as a content creation device, businesses and consumers will still use tablets and smartphones to enhance their lives.

Ten per cent of households in developed countries will use dual video screens as they consume TV, for example, and broadcasters will be under pressure to provide second-screen experiences with interactive feeds. Innovative broadcast providers like Sky are already pushing the boundaries of second screen with compelling Formula 1 and Premiership content for iPad devices via its respective Sky Sports apps.

The media industry will also need to brace itself for increased growth in the mobile advertising space, which saw a 20pc increase in advertising spend in the past year worldwide.

Currently, mobile advertising makes up a third of online spend with paid search options still the most popular.

PC war image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years