With the insane growth of smartphones, tablets, and phablets, the laptop is struggling to stay afloat. The sales statistics of both Windows and Apple computers indicate very minimal growth, while the market of mobile devices, specifically Android and Windows, is rapidly expanding. There are numerous reasons that could be attributed to this significant change, such as more manageable size, similar functionality, and cheaper prices for smartphones and tablets.
Analyzing the Decline
The thought process of the average consumer is quite clear. The overabundance of advertising and media attention for products such as the iPhone 6 has driven customers to believe smartphones are making strides past even more expensive computers. While anyone can argue that the performance of laptops is far above these small devices, the size to feature comparison is substantially different.
Phones now have the ability to smoothly browse the web, while multitasking. People can also download easy-to-use applications to more effectively control various tasks, play games, improve productivity, and more. The average Internet user probably reads and sends emails, browses news, social media, and other popular sites, and performs some Google searches on a regular basis. All of these functions are available on modern phones and tablets, rather than just desktop and laptop computers.
Additionally, smartphones and tablets come integrated with 4G for using cellular data, so the Internet can be accessed from any developed location. There are adapters for laptops to gain access to the same network, but the ability is not standard and the cost is extra.
While performing these small tasks, modern cellphones can load very quickly. Therefore, the technically smaller memory and processors are trivial because surfing the web and other basic functions are not demanding. The storage capacity on these small devices is reaching over 100 GB, so they are not usually struggling to hold information either.
The boot time of a laptop could reach upwards of twenty seconds, even the new, fast Chromebooks take seven seconds. However, it only takes a moment to pull out a phone, unlock, and surf. While that is technically not a fair comparison because that assumes the phone is not completely powered down, cellphones are almost never turned completely off. However, computers should be shut down during travel and long periods without use.
Another huge factor relating to convenience is the laptop’s lack of mobility. While people were amazed when they were first released and touted for the highest level of freedom, they cannot be carried during shopping trips or other brief outings. Even carrying a laptop throughout the house is an inconvenience in modern society. Mobile devices can be carried almost anywhere with ease due to their miniature size.
There are also other major contributors, such as the much lower cost and having the ability to perform phone calls. The laptop is dying because more functional, smaller sized technology is being released. Technology companies are capitalizing on this fact by continually updating and selling newer mobile devices and spending billions on marketing campaigns, while the computer is being left behind.