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Dell Says Idea of Post-PC Era is "Complete Nonsense"

By - Source: Financial Times | B 66 comments

All this post-PC apocalypse chatter is just crazy talk. The PC will never die.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Michael Dell said the idea that the PC "is no longer here" -- that the industry is sliding into a post-PC era -- is "complete nonsense." In fact, he doesn't envision tablets and smartphones replacing desktops and laptops, but instead sees his company playing a key role in the market's overall evolution -- a vision that doesn't include the acquisition of HP's PC division.

"Think about the scale economies in our business," he said. "As a company spins off its PC business, it goes from one of the top buyers in the world of disk drives and processors and memory chips to not being one of the top five. And that raises the cost of making servers and storage products. Ultimately we believe that presents an enormous opportunity for us and you can be sure we are going to seize it."

Gartner analysts are predicting as many as 2 billion PCs being in use by 2014 -- 500 million more PCs than what's currently up and running across the globe. And despite news that consumer interest is shifting towards tablets and smartphones, they're still buying PCs. Dell remains committed to this sector, yet it has also acknowledged a weakening consumer demand, cutting its revenue growth forecasts for the year and delaying orders by public sector customers.

What will keep Dell from falling flat on its face will be its broad portfolio, serving as the only one of the major IT players still offering services and hardware in the same package. "We are very distinct from some of our competitors," he said. "We believe the devices and the hardware still matter as part of the complete, end-to-end solution."

PC growth will mainly stem from emerging markets like China, Dell said. China is currently one of the biggest markets for the company's servers thanks to deals with big internet companies like Tencent. In fact, around 60-percent of the Chinese internet actually runs on Dell hardware... at least, that's what Michael Dell claims.

Still, Dell hasn't given up hope of entering the tablet sector either. Right now things are looking bleak: Sharp just announced that it will no longer produce its Galapagos tablets. HP, which recently announced that it no longer plans to manufacture webOS tablets, has put tablet development on hold until the overall company roadmap is ironed out. Even Dell's own Streak hasn't sold well since its debut last year. The only non-Apple vendors that appear to be succeeding is Asus and Samsung.

But as we've seen with the Asus Eee Pad transformer and Slider tablets, the line between notebooks and tablets is growing fuzzy -- a factor that Dell has all but acknowledged. "The line that separates a tablet and a laptop today will get very blurry and ultimately disappear as you see many new products," he said, perhaps pointing to Dell's upcoming role in the PC market's overall evolution.

To see his full interview with the Financial Times, head here.

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Top Comments
  • 28 Hide
    alikum , September 20, 2011 4:17 PM
    For once, I agree with Dell
  • 22 Hide
    Soma42 , September 20, 2011 4:14 PM
    PCs can never go away completely. I mean tablets and smartphones are nice and all. I may even replace my old laptop with a smartphone, but for any serious work you still need a keyboard and mouse.

    PCs are content creation devices and tablets, smartphones and the like are consumption devices, so until they can make a tablet with a better interface then the PC will remain king.
  • 15 Hide
    danielravennest , September 20, 2011 4:21 PM
    I will use a tablet for serious work when they are 46 inches across, like my two desktop monitors. Nothing prevents people from having *both* a desktop and tablet. They serve different purposes.
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    Soma42 , September 20, 2011 4:14 PM
    PCs can never go away completely. I mean tablets and smartphones are nice and all. I may even replace my old laptop with a smartphone, but for any serious work you still need a keyboard and mouse.

    PCs are content creation devices and tablets, smartphones and the like are consumption devices, so until they can make a tablet with a better interface then the PC will remain king.
  • 28 Hide
    alikum , September 20, 2011 4:17 PM
    For once, I agree with Dell
  • 15 Hide
    danielravennest , September 20, 2011 4:21 PM
    I will use a tablet for serious work when they are 46 inches across, like my two desktop monitors. Nothing prevents people from having *both* a desktop and tablet. They serve different purposes.
  • 14 Hide
    Anonymous , September 20, 2011 4:30 PM
    I love it, now the marketing pundits are reversing themselves by posting this article.

    I guess their bosses finally realized that they would lose more sales than gain by trying to sell PCs users on the BS that a tablet is just as useful as the PC.

    They need to fire these marketers because they failed miserably, not all consumers are THAT dumb!
  • 3 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , September 20, 2011 4:35 PM
    Oh yeah! Michael Dell and his company have way better attitude than Gruener, HP and other tablet admirers... I only hope that this attitude won't cost Dell too much - I'd like PCs to remain, and not just as a "niche market".

    ... but I'm still not buying Dell products :p 
  • 9 Hide
    graysoniv , September 20, 2011 4:43 PM
    Agreed. I'm sorry but who ever says PC's are 'dead' or soon to be are just plain wrong.

    Maybe one day but we are just not there yet. It would take a vast improvement in tablet interfaces and hardware capabilities for them to replace the PC.
  • 9 Hide
    drwho1 , September 20, 2011 4:48 PM
    I don't buy DELL or ANY branded PC, I have built my own PC's for almost 20 years now and will keep building my own for many years to come.

    So for my point of view PC's are not going anywhere, tablets on the other hand won't even get anywhere near me. If I need a portable computer then I use my laptop.

    But for serious work.... er... GAMING nothing will replace my PC's.
  • 7 Hide
    killerclick , September 20, 2011 4:51 PM
    I wonder why portable TVs didn't put a dent into the big-screen TV market... oh yeah, because small screen suck.

    Tablets will soon go the way of the netbooks. Once everybody who needs a tablet buys one, they won't be needing a new one for a long time - after all it's only for Facebook, Twitter, video and web browsing. Even smartphones are headed towards market saturation. If you have a top-of-the-line smartphone now, what else will you really need in a phone? A screen bigger than 4.3"? A 0.1" thinner body? Finer resolution than 960x640? Or do you long to play Crysis on a 4.3" screen so you'd like a 6870 GPU in your pocket?

    No, now it's all about viewing content (video, websites, etc) and for most people, current top smartphones will be fine for years to come.

    My wishlist for a new phone: streamlined wireless connectivity to HD+ displays, keyboards, mice, etc. Then and only then will multicore monster phones be really useful for any kind of work.
  • 0 Hide
    lukeyu7777 , September 20, 2011 5:07 PM
    post-pc is a joke for now. Instead post-laptop is happening fast...
  • 1 Hide
    Parrdacc , September 20, 2011 5:17 PM
    I am sure most governments would like to think that the PC would go away in favor of just consumption based systems such as tablets and smartphones.
  • 4 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , September 20, 2011 5:18 PM
    Quote:
    post-pc is a joke for now. Instead post-laptop is happening fast...


    Not happening either; most people still want/need a portable PC with the ability to type properly and tablets can't do it.

    Quote:
    I am sure most governments would like to think that the PC would go away in favor of just consumption based systems such as tablets and smartphones.


    They'd love it. I guess we're lucky that the market controls the government and not the other way around :) 
  • -1 Hide
    coldmast , September 20, 2011 5:21 PM
    The EeePad Transformer is awesome; I think that with a Tegra 3 and better sound it would be a must buy. For Asus, instead of concentrating on emulating the look of competitors, they have excelled at bringing on new devices that fill in the nooks and crannies of the tablet market. I believe the ultimate goal for a product should be one that complements and utilizes other devices instead of shunning them.

    Totally agree with this article, content creation is on the 'PC', performance is on the 'PC'; content consumption is on Tablets, so their real market is aimed at TVs and portable gaming devices.

    Does anyone else remember when electronic pocket organizers where all the rage; and over time those capabilities integrated with smart phones.
  • -4 Hide
    ghnader hsmithot , September 20, 2011 5:22 PM
    I hope your right Mr Dell but your Average Joe's say laptops are cool and are considered the "thang".
  • 5 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , September 20, 2011 5:23 PM
    Quote:
    Agreed. I'm sorry but who ever says PC's are 'dead' or soon to be are just plain wrong.

    Maybe one day but we are just not there yet. It would take a vast improvement in tablet interfaces and hardware capabilities for them to replace the PC.

    I believe it was the all knowing Steve Jobs that first started that rumor, by proclaiming we are in a post-pc era.
  • 0 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , September 20, 2011 5:23 PM
    Quote:
    Agreed. I'm sorry but who ever says PC's are 'dead' or soon to be are just plain wrong.

    Maybe one day but we are just not there yet. It would take a vast improvement in tablet interfaces and hardware capabilities for them to replace the PC.

    I believe it was the all knowing Steve Jobs that first started that rumor, by proclaiming we are in a post-pc era.
  • 0 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , September 20, 2011 5:23 PM
    Quote:
    Agreed. I'm sorry but who ever says PC's are 'dead' or soon to be are just plain wrong.

    Maybe one day but we are just not there yet. It would take a vast improvement in tablet interfaces and hardware capabilities for them to replace the PC.

    I believe it was the all knowing Steve Jobs that first started that rumor, by proclaiming we are in a post-pc era.
  • -6 Hide
    liquidchild , September 20, 2011 5:24 PM
    As soon as a tablet is more powerful then its PC counterpart AT THE SAME TIME at a "reasonable" price the PC will be dead...don't hold your breath for it though.
  • -2 Hide
    rosen380 , September 20, 2011 5:28 PM
    For a tech website-- the posters here seem to have very little vision.

    My desktop machine is a box on my desk, plugged into a monitor with the capability of communicating wirelessly to a keyboard and mouse.

    At some point computer hardware will be fast enough and storage small enough [or remote] that it stops making sense to build large desktop machines and they'll get smaller.

    At some point, a device the size of a phone [probably still with a phone in it] will be as powerful as necessary for 99% of all computer users and then still powerful enough for 90%+ of the tasks of that top 1%.

    Those devices will almost certainly be able to connect, wirelessly and seamlessly, to the monitor, keyboard, mouse, internet, power, external storage, etc sitting on your desk [at home, work, the hotel business center, etc]. At that point, sitting at your desk, it is no different than a desktop computer. Except that when you're leaving for work you pick it up and put it in your pocket.

    Between docking stations, you'll surely get by with touch and voice interfaces as well-- perfectly fine for the light work you do between desks.
  • 6 Hide
    Inferno1217 , September 20, 2011 5:28 PM
    bavmanI think once we can have super fast internet everything can be done by cloud computing. All you'd ever have to buy is basically a wireless card, a monitor and keyboard/mouse. With fast internet (with little latency) we would be able to stream application, games, movies anything we desire. Kind of like on live.


    I will NEVER use cloud storage for my personal information. I love my privacy and my families privacy. Cloud will be a hackers dream! The PC will not die in the foreseeable future.
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