At last, John Paczkowski and Goldman Sachs have surfaced the ugly secret of the tablet PC love affair: it’s going to start hurting PC sales soon. Big time.
Bill Shope, an analyst at Goldmans, reckons that at least 19 million notebook sales will be lost to tablet PCs in 2011, and over 26 million in 2012.
When this shift happens, it should not be a surprise to anyone. The trend towards smaller, more mobile computing devices began years ago when the laptop began to challenge the desktop. It’s since continued with notebooks, netbooks and smartphones and there is no reason to think that the direction will change. People will always want more ability to work, to manage data and be entertained on the go. People will also always want devices that are integrated with reading, communicating and social networking functionality, things that do not only happen when one is sitting at one’s desk. Even though tablet PCs have been around for a long time now, Apple’s iPad has unblocked the adoption channel, and it’s now a slippery slope.
Where will it end? Probably with a tiny voice-activated, smartphone-like device implanted somewhere on the body that draws its data from the cloud and “talks” to different screens in whatever location the individual happens to be in. This vision is a long way off, but in the meantime don’t be expecting to get a lot of money for your notebook when decide to sell it and upgrade to an iPad.