Are Mobile Devices Replacing Desktops and Laptops?

Each year, we are introduced to yet another range of mobile devices—one that is more hi-tech and mesmerising than its predecessors. We have gotten to the point where the latest model of tablet or smartphone enables users to take care of nearly every at-home or at-work task imaginable, without the need for any other devices such as laptops and desktops.

This however, only recently became the case. For example, as recently as 2011, we still had to go to the hassle of connecting our smartphones with a laptop dock in order to get, what in hindsight, can only be described as a limited, clunky smartphone-based experience via our computer. In concept, this was a good idea, but also one that was ahead of its time. Smartphones back then were not yet powerful enough to handle all of a user’s computing needs, but it didn’t take long for things to turn around.

What came over the course of the next few years was improved battery life, increased networking speeds, better processing power and bigger screens—all of which contributed to a growing deviation from the traditional desktop experience. It was beginning to become apparent that the future of computing lies in hand held devices.

In an announcement made last week by industry-leading chipmaker ARM, it was predicted that with its new Mali-T880 GPU and Cortex-A72 (processor), smartphones would have the ability to take care of all tasks for which a computer is currently required. ARM, who are based in Cambridge, England, have confidently projected that this will be a reality as soon as next year. Given the speed at which things are currently moving in the industry, and the fact that many people are already working desktop-free, it’s hard not to take their prediction seriously.

Smartphone capability has continued to grow over the past few years while simultaneously, the PC industry has experienced a downward spiral. For many people, notebooks have been replaced by tablets and now what we are seeing is tablets being replaced by large smartphones (phablets). Furthermore, everyday wearable appliances like watches and sunglasses are becoming “smart”—another nail in the coffin for larger, desk-based devices.

According to James Bruce, mobile strategiest at ARM, “The PC has very much become a secondary computer device.”

Do you think desktops and laptops will soon be a thing of the past? Share your thoughts by commenting on this post, or on our Facebook or twitter pages.