Consulting firm Deloitte believes it is too early to declare the death of the PC-era, despite slowing sales of the PC factor across the globe.
Deloitte's annual Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) predictions, launched today, noted that more than 80 percent of all internet traffic (measured in bits) will still come from traditional PCs, in spite of the rapid rise of alternate computing technologies such as tablets and smartphones,
“Most people spend most of their time at work, and when they’re working they’re in front of a PC,” said said Deloitte's lead telecommunications partner Stuart Johnston.
He also observed there are tasks which simply aren’t practical on tablets or phones.
“There’s a limit of about 500 words which people will happily write on a tablet or phone,” he said. “After that they prefer to use a traditional PC and keyboard.”
The report also predicts the rise of the “phablet” during 2013. Johnston said anecdotally evidence suggests users prefer larger screens on their portable devices.
Deloitte partner Clare Harding said smartphone shipments will exceed a billion units this year.
Not everyone, however, is using the smartphone to the full extent of its capabilities.
“Around a quarter of smartphone users won’t use data,” she said.
This is attributable to the high cost of data, industry moves toward cheaper smartphones, and the tendency for users to pass on older devices to family and friends after an upgrade.
Johnston predicted that the biggest issue for 2013 is the coming spectrum crunch.
“The situation with spectrum is only going to get worse before it gets better,” he said.
While he wouldn’t be drawn on the specifics of Australia’s forthcoming spectrum auction, Johnston observed that globally telcos are less willing to pay high prices for 4G spectrum.
They were willing to pay high prices for 3G, he noted, because it represented a major upgrade from 2G.
LTE, or 4G, is seen as incremental by comparison.
While carriers aren’t willing to pay inflated prices for spectrum, he nontheless expects 2013 will be the year LTE/4G takes off, as there are a growing number of 4G-enabled phones on the market.
The report also found 4K televisions will start to gain a foothold in 2013, while connected sets will become ubiquitous.
“Consumers aren’t necessarily choosing connectivity,” Harding said. “It tends to be bundled in.”