Yes, folks, we’re in the mobile era, of which even PC notebooks play a diminishing part, but much of our computing today– regardless of purpose– is done on smaller, more mobile devices, and that’s not likely to change any time soon. Goodbye, post-PC era. Hello mobile device era.
The Mac In Your Pocket
One can view the mobile computing device revolution many different ways. My parents bought their first iPhones just a few years ago, but still have a desktop iMac. My father adroitly points out that Apple has managed to take Mac customers and turn them into owners of Macs, iPads, iPhones, Apple TV, and Watch owners, and give customers the music they already bought in exchange for a monthly subscription fee.
Another way to look at the mobile revolution is what we use those devices to accomplish. Desktop Macs with plenty of screen real estate are not going away, but they don’t sell in the numbers they once did. Apple says about 75-percent of all Macs sold these days are notebooks.
Notebooks are mobile devices.
Yet, it’s the iPhone which put Apple on the worldwide map, so to speak, and gave Apple half a billion new customers. Today’s iPhones are as powerful as a Mac from a few years ago, have more apps available to users than Macs ever had, and, other than heavy lifting apps (Final Cut Pro, Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office and other professional level applications, one could argue that an iPhone can do more.
Today’s iPad Pro is as powerful as an entry-level Mac, has more apps from which to choose and use, and can be, arguably, of course, more useful and more mobile.
Steve Jobs once used the car and truck analogy to point out the changes taking place in technology. Trucks were dominant a century ago because the country was more agrarian. Cars are what most of us use these days because, for the most part, we don’t need the so-called heavy lifting capability of a truck, and cars have more creature comforts.
One caveat to that analogy is that trucks still sell in huge numbers, and most of the top 20 vehicles sold in the U.S. are trucks, not cars, but cars have more models than trucks, so, you know, lies, damned lies, and statistics. But many trucks are sold for uses that more resemble cars.
We are moving quickly into the mobile era and if it’s to be supplanted the way mobile devices took over traditional PCs, it might be with Internet of Things devices, computerized human implants, and artificial intelligence, but I’m not going to hold my breath. Mobile devices are the new PCs. They’re fast, powerful, flexible, have more uses, and already outsell everything once made for the desktop.
If past is prologue, then everything that has taken place in history today has helped to move mankind into a more mobile era that is not likely to change until our AI overlords, spawned from Skynet, tell us it’s changed. By then most of us will be drinking Soylent Green at Starbucks.