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Smartphones Outsell PCs for the First Time Ever

By - Source: AP | B 28 comments

Smartphones have outsold PCs for the first time ever.

It sometimes fun to compare apples to oranges, right? So with that in mind, IDC is reporting that the last quarter saw smartphones outsell PCs worldwide. According to IDC, consumer electronics manufacturers shipped 100.9 million smartphones from October through to December 2010. This represents an 87 percent jump from a year earlier. On the other hand, PC shipments were weaker than initially expected and amounted to 92.1 million, just a 3 percent increase.

Though it’s impressive growth for the smartphone industry, it’s not exactly a shocking development. With smartphone and mobile technology moving at such a hair-raising pace, it seems like newer, better, faster phones are being pushed every other month. People can’t help but want the next big thing, and with so many new phones out there, more people than ever are choosing to buy smartphones.

Comparing this gotta-have-it atmosphere to the PC industry seems a little redundant. Not only are people using smartphones and PCs for very different tasks (it’s not like we’re comparing netbooks to notebooks, here), most have a tendency to choose a PC they know will last them a few years. There’s also the point that smartphones are significantly cheaper than PCs. Even if people vow to keep the same phone for a few years, a nice juicy sale could change their mind very quickly.

All that said, it's impressive that a new industry, like the smartphone industry, could find it's footing and reach levels similar to that of the PC industry in just a couple of years.

Read more on Yahoo! News.

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  • -3 Hide
    fyasko , February 18, 2011 12:36 AM
    the sandy bridge recall had alot to do with this.
  • 0 Hide
    fyasko , February 18, 2011 12:37 AM
    i'm wrong again...
  • 1 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , February 18, 2011 12:42 AM
    I'm a bit shocked that it hasn't happened yet, but I guess I'm not surprised, either. There's really not much need to buy a new PC right now. New software seems to run just fine on older computers. Having that said, why waste money on a computer, when you can buy a smartphone with a lot of new toys (or apps) on it to play with? Give it a year or so, we'll all be able to buy quad core phones that'll be able to handle anything and just like a PC now, we'll have no reason to upgrade, just swap out dead batteries.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , February 18, 2011 1:21 AM
    people but 1 computer and its good for a household for the most part, but now everyone needs their own phone.

    everyone wants a smartphone if they have to get a cell phone.

    cellphones go obsolete faster than computers, thanks in part to apple.
  • 1 Hide
    touchdowntexas13 , February 18, 2011 1:30 AM
    I understand many users out there have no real need to upgrade their computer except for every 4-6 years, where as phone contracts typically expire every 2 years. And lets face it, the rate at which mobile device technologies are advancing, a 2 year old phone can feel extremely slow compared to a brand new one.

    However, i like that the comparison here is "apples to oranges". Smartphones may be outselling pc's, but they cant exactly replace them. At least not until you can fit 500GB-1TB of storage on there and connect both hd monitors and a full size keyboard. When that becomes the case, mobile phones may replace pc's for mainstream users. Until then, nothing beats a nice big monitor with a full size keyboard and a powerful desktop, at least thats my opinion ;) 
  • 2 Hide
    edilee , February 18, 2011 1:46 AM
    These figures are not correct since I am almost 100% certain custom built PC's are not included in this figure. They are just taking figures from Dell, Gateway, etc, etc and the other junk manafacturers. They should just tally up the motherboards sold and that should give an accurate figure to add to the pre-built systems figure.
  • 0 Hide
    fancarolina , February 18, 2011 2:21 AM
    Anyone want to take bets on how long before Tablets outsell PC's?
  • 0 Hide
    sudeshc , February 18, 2011 2:33 AM
    strange i was thinking that this could have happened way before. But now it seems like smartphones are here to replace every other mobile computing device because of the such fast paced development and innovation coming every now and then.
    screen size is getting bigger more cores and speedy processors better graphics, its just getting better and better.
  • 0 Hide
    sudeshc , February 18, 2011 2:35 AM
    Forgot to mention it all started because of Android only.
  • 0 Hide
    fancarolina , February 18, 2011 3:16 AM
    sudeshcForgot to mention it all started because of Android only.


    Careful giving all the credit to Google. They had an awfully good model from a certain fruit company to start from and improve upon. While I agree Android is a very good OS and has many many improvements over iOS, I would have been interested to see what it would have looked like had they not had a good example. I also agree Android is driving sales far more then Apple simply due to their distribution model.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , February 18, 2011 3:36 AM
    Well there are probably several reasons for that, such as the generally lower price of a smartphone (up front, that is). But this doesn't mean the death of PCs, however.
  • -1 Hide
    Benihana , February 18, 2011 3:46 AM
    I too am surprised this hasn't happened earlier. Most people I know buy/build 1-2 computers per year, but get 4+ smartphones per year.
  • 0 Hide
    martel80 , February 18, 2011 5:48 AM
    Even a 4 years old desktop is still good enough for general (non-gaming) purpose. No wonder.
  • 3 Hide
    dco , February 18, 2011 6:16 AM
    the sad thing is so many people that buy smartphones have absolutely no use for them other than sending messages and making phones calls which they could have done with a $50 phone, they just buy them because its popular. I beet manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank.
  • 1 Hide
    rantoc , February 18, 2011 7:10 AM
    Considering that some people seem more keen to change their phone than changing their underwear its not that shocking. The computers lasts longer due to the performance and quality you get and for the regular home users needs the average computer a few years back do just fine!

    For gamers and enthusiasts its another matter. Many buy upgrades frequently and i wonder how much all those sales that count as in an apple/oranges comparison like this - likely none due to its not a complete new system.

  • -1 Hide
    sleeace , February 18, 2011 7:33 AM
    Smartphone(Superphone) business will endly found it's barrel just like every other 3C devices destiny...
  • 1 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , February 18, 2011 11:11 AM
    fk the phones.PCs are here to stay:D 
  • 1 Hide
    g00fysmiley , February 18, 2011 11:34 AM
    eventually smartphones might with mroe die shrinks and new medium be the main form of computer interface making desktops obsolete... but that day is not here and it will be many years before smart phoen tech catches up to desktop tech. maybe somewhere in the nanotube generations when efficiency allows it but till then i'll keep my nice pretty box *hugs pc*
  • 0 Hide
    zodiacfml , February 18, 2011 12:28 PM
    it's just that not everyone has smartphones yet while having PCs, add to it that not everyone buys a desktop.
  • 0 Hide
    chaoski , February 18, 2011 12:44 PM
    JOSHSKORNI'm a bit shocked that it hasn't happened yet, but I guess I'm not surprised, either. There's really not much need to buy a new PC right now. New software seems to run just fine on older computers. Having that said, why waste money on a computer, when you can buy a smartphone with a lot of new toys (or apps) on it to play with? Give it a year or so, we'll all be able to buy quad core phones that'll be able to handle anything and just like a PC now, we'll have no reason to upgrade, just swap out dead batteries.



    umm...everyone has different needs. Yours might be simple, others is not.

    I game, and no smart phone can run BC2 or Crysis.

    MILLIONS of people WORK on PCs and use them for MANY different things.

    How do you think your Smartphone OS and apps are developed?

    There will ALWAYS be MUCH need to buy a PC. MMMMKAY
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