Data Monday: The Transition

by Luke Wroblewski April 16, 2011

It's no secret, we're moving to a mobile computing World. But what might be surprising is how much of the future is here already. To illustrate, here's a few data points on the shift from PCs, laptops, and notebooks to the real personal computer: the mobile.

  • In December 2009, Morgan Stanley Research released their Mobile Internet Report that boldly predicted global shipments of smartphones would surpass global shipments of desktops, notebooks, and laptops sometime in 2012. That transition happened almost two years early as global shipments of smartphones and tablets surpassed shipments of desktop PCs and notebooks in Q42010. This gap is expected to increase over the next few years. (source)
  • Home usage of the PC is down 20% since 2008. As people use smartphones for more simple computing tasks like web surfing, they use traditional PCs less. (source)
  • Worldwide PC shipments fell 3.2% during the first quarter of 2011 the first year-over-year quarterly decline since the end of the Great Recession. In the U.S. shipments were down 10% in the quarter. Media tablets are capturing a portion of the consumer spending that previously went toward traditional computers. (source)
  • 22-25% of US and UK mobile Internet browsers never or infrequently use the desktop Internet. (source)
  • In November 2010, the number of visitors to web-based email sites declined 6%. During the same time period, the number of users accessing email via their mobile devices grew by 36%. (source)
  • In about a month or so, Apple’s iPhone 4 will become the most popular camera used to take pictures uploaded to Flickr. The current most popular camera the Nikon D90 is nearly three years old. The iPhone 4 is not even a year old. (source)