I think it would be a good idea for me to elaborate on my take on the current inThirty.net podcast every week…
The question at large is “Are we in a Post PC Era?” Are we over the personal computer as the de facto piece of technology that you must have at all times to be productive. The podcast this week was a little too disorganized, but I will try to reign it in. [Edit: I failed to focus on one topic]
Yes, I think we have moved into a post PC era. The early adopters have decided that they need many more devices to productive, however that one device that does everything is still elusive. Falling into this early adopter tech category, I do want that one device that does it all, however, if a single serving device does it perfectly, I want that too.
What I mean by that, is that my phone does everything. It is now my de-facto device. If I had to prioritize what I need with me, my phone is by far the first thing, however we can all admit the only thing the phone does “perfectly” is make phone calls. We accept the mediocrity because it does so much more. My phone can also access the internet, read books, take pictures, navigate, tell time, consume media, and play games. Each one of those can be done much better. I can’t take everything with me so I have to prioritize.
If I had a second device, I would take my tablet (iPad in this case). Third, would be my kindle. Fourth, would be my laptop. So why is my laptop fourth, when 3 years ago it would be second (behind the phone)?
The computer has become a single serve device. That one use, creating content. When most people are consuming content disproportionately more than creating content, devices have to mimic said functionality. As small as the ultra books are, they are still too clumsy to travel and listen to music, read, browse the internet, or watch movies. The analogy is the trade benefit that people made to go from a desktop to a laptop.
The tablet is rising through the ranks to be that second device. I foresee the future to mirror the past in the following way(s). The first scenario is that we go back to one desktop per family. Everything that we needed our own computer for has been taken over by the laptop. The second scenario is that every person has a cheap laptop because the uses will be specialized. There will be brand marketing of levels of use. I can see categories ranging from general use to extreme high end. The demarcations will be much more clear.
The catalyst for this is price. As price drops, people can buy the device that does what they need it to do. For $114 why wouldn’t you buy a kindle to read books. An ereader is the best way to read a book. If your phone’s camera isn’t good enough, cameras are cheap enough that you can buy one to your exact specifications. The point is that your de-facto device is what does everything you need it to do, but if you need to do it better, the cost is cheap enough.
The one caveat I failed to mention is the data associated with each device. If you have a data enabled laptop, that may be your first device, only because it does cost to enable each device for an insubstantial gain. I’m assuming people choose their phone first to be data enabled, followed by a tablet, than a laptop. However, I going to assume that I may be wrong.
So yes, I think the PC era is over, and we are moving on. Like I said, single serving devices are the future. Cost of each item will continue to drop to the point that the we will spend for a great all around device, and only go after the secondary devices that we need perfect results for.
We ended the podcast asking, if you could have one device with data, would you have it on your phone, tablet, or laptop? My answer is that since I’m a male and won’t carry a bag most of the time, size is an issue. My phone would have my data plan on it. I can females choosing a tablet as their first device to have data, and only have a feature phone. I can see content creators or people that need to truly multitask and need a keyboard to choose a mifi to share their data with primarily their laptop.