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

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.

  • Soma42
    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.
  • alikum
    For once, I agree with Dell
  • bavman
    I 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.
  • danielravennest
    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.
  • 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!
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    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
  • graysoniv
    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.
  • drwho1
    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.
  • killerclick
    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.
  • lukeyu7777
    post-pc is a joke for now. Instead post-laptop is happening fast...