PC Software Era Turns Into App Era

App-enabled devices will outship the traditional PC within 18 months, according to a report published by IDC. According to the market research firm, tablets and smartphones will hit 284 million annual units this year, 377 million next year and 462 million in 2012.

At the same time, PC units are growing as well, albeit at a much slower pace. 356 million PCs this year, 377 million next year and 448 million in 2012. IDC said that this trend does not mean that the PC is dying. It is a scenario in which the PC market is expanding. Of course, that is a matter of subtle market developments that are difficult to forecast at this point (probably as difficult as predicting PC sales in 2012), but if IDC is right and we are not surprised by another economic slowdown, then it would be time to talk about the future of software.

If we are heading toward app-enabled devices, it is a shift from the traditional software model that limits us to traditionally one installation one just one device. Apps have the potential to drive a software (or services) model that makes software available on all of your devices through a platform in Apple's case or a browser in Google's (and potentially Mozilla's) model. Microsoft is, by the way, also playing a role and has just launched a new TV campaign to remind us that there are Microsoft cloud applications.

Source: Computer World

    i doubt it
  • toastninja17
    An app will never beat a full blown software program. Or games that consist of gigabytes of data.
  • toastninja17
    I believe it's more of an app "phase"
  • zachary k
    smartphones/tablets(or whatever the flavor of the month is) will never replace desktops.
    apps will never replace programs.
    i will put money on NOTHING happening in 18 months.
  • joex444
    Even if this is true, they are referring to the marginal rate. PC sales are growing but slower than smartphones because the ownership of PCs is much higher. The relevant quantity is the user base, and PCs will have that edge for longer than 18 months (as implied by this article).
  • Darkv1
    Personally I don't think apps will ever truly replace full programs...at least for the sake of my sanity I hope not.
  • tsnorquist
    What actually constitutes an "App"? Where is the separation line between an "App" and a full fledged program?

    I think that needs to determined before anyone can claim otherwise.
  • dark_knight33
    Why? Because certain phones/tablets are "magical & revolutionary" devices? The reality distortion field must be on overdrive today...


    Lets see, 1 billion PCs by 2012, 2 billion by 2015. Yeah, I can totally see $0.99 apps replacing a free browser that has nearly the same functionality. /sarcasm

    Most apps are nothing more than ported flash/java applications anyway. Don't kid yourself, if consoles haven't killed the PC (and they haven't), neither will apps.

    What you might see instead off "apps" taking over are phones making an even stronger move towards PC like functionality. Eventually, I *can* totally see a PC as portable as a phone, with a docking station at home. The you won't be buying "apps" (i.e fad of the week), you'll be buying software for your phone.
  • JustinHD81
    @tsnorquist I agree with that, I think what we're really getting at is the fact that consumers are becoming more interested in getting their software from a walled garden, ie, the "app" store, this is increasingly occurring with PC software if you look at services like Steam, this could just be the next evolution of software sales, and companies like EB games, or other software sales might need to invest into their own "app" stores if they want to stay in the marketplace, this will of course depend on whether content producers beat them to the punch which is also a new trend, think iStore, Live Marketplace, also Sony and Nintendo have their own online stores for their platforms. This however could be a pain for competition and pricing because then we have only one distributor who determines pricing rather than competing retail companies which can reduce prices.
  • TheRockMonsi
    Let me put it to you this way: To hell with this app crap!!!!