Computers have long been the portal to the Internet, with over two billion people logging online every day. But now that you can access your favourite websites, email and games through your smartphone, are the days of the PC limited?
Smartphones are an all-in-one device that let you make calls, take pictures and access the web on the go.
Accessing your essentialsWhether you realise it or not, you probably utilise cloud software to access your emails, appointments and documents remotely on your smartphone. Google Docs and Google Calendar are two of the most popular applications that will let users view their files from any Internet-connected device. That means you can manage your schedule and update work documents anywhere that your smartphone can get reception and you can put the device back in your pocket when you’re done – something that’s simply not possible with bulkier laptops, desktops or tablets.
Aren’t smartphones for teenagers and executives?When smartphones first arrived on the market, celebrities like Paris Hilton made their phones a staple in their wardrobe and teenagers rushed to imitate their favourite stars. Business executives used smartphones to access their work documents and emails when they were away from their computers. But the use of mobiles, and smartphones in particular, has grown exponentially in the last five years and today over 80% of the world’s population has a mobile phone.
An article in the Guardian last year also suggested that the smartphone is increasingly becoming users’ first and only PC equivalent in developing countries, especially if electricity supplies are costly or vulnerable to disruption.
A recent Gartner news release predicts that by 2014 it’s the personal cloud that will be at the forefront of digital life – not PCs. Smartphones are a convenient way to access the growing user trend for building up a personal cloud, accessible on the go. Smartphone popularity will certainly be served well too by the increasing popularity of mobile apps.
Computers are faster though right?A typical desktop computer has a 3-4 GHz processor. The most popular smartphones today have a 1-2 GHz processor, so PCs win on that front. Give it another year or two though, and you’ll likely find smartphones with a processor comparable to any traditional computer. Plus, your Internet speed is determined more by your router and Internet Service Provider (ISP) than your device. That means if you’re looking for the fastest Internet connection, you’ll likely see the same speeds on your iPhone and desktop if you’re browsing wirelessly from home.
So who wins?
When it really comes down to it, we’ll likely always have a need for both a mobile phone and a separate computer (or indeed tablet) that can handle prolonged use, multiple simultaneous applications and is sturdy and long-lasting. Smartphones will give PCs a run for their money and certainly more users than ever are using them over their traditional computers for checking emails and browsing the web. But will you be throwing your PC completely out the window in favour of a new iPhone or Android in the next few years? Probably not.
View our infographic which shows the usage of Smartphones by age and gender Smartphone Infograhic
Darren Bunker is a director at QubeGB, a telecommunications company in the UK. When Darren is not out supporting his favourite rugby team he can be found working with his teams in the Galashiels and London offices. If you would like to keep up to date with company news, please visit the QubeGB LinkedIn page.