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The Growth of personal devices | The Economist

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Published on Oct 11, 2011

Mobile digital gadgets are overshadowing the personal computer http://econ.st/qPHm4N

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Many tech folk think we have entered what Steve Jobs liked to call a post-PC era. This doesn't mean that PCs are about
to disappear - shipments of them will keep growing, especially in emerging markets hungry for computing power. But smartphones and tablet computers are putting PCs in the shade.

This year combined shipments of the two devices are likely to outstrip those of PCs for the first time, and they will keep growing strongly. In many rich countries smartphones now outnumber more basic feature phones, and in emerging markets such as China and India they are expected to catch up with feature phones
too.

Downloadable software applications, or apps, have helped make these tablets and smartphones so popular almost 18 billion
apps will be downloaded this year, and that number will soar as more mobile devices are sold.

Many of these apps are free - but few are used regularly. One
study found that the 10 most popular Android apps accounted for 43% of all usage and the top 50 for almost two thirds of it.

As mobile gadgets has become more powerful they're being used more at work in 2010, 31% of devices used by information workers to access things such as spreadsheets and customer
databases were their own. this year that number lept to 41% partly because of the impact of tablet computers.

Tech types refer to this as the consumerization of IT. Although the
number of PCs in use has risen over time, all sorts of mobile web connected devices are now taking off. Some 10 billion of these could be in circulation by the end of the decade. This will produce an explosion of mobile data by 2015 - some 6.3 exabytes of the stuff will be zipping around each month, which is the equivalent of 63 billion copies of The Economist.

Fortunately much of this mobile data will be in the form of videos, like the one you are watching now. It promises to be an eye-opening new era in the world of personal technology.

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