Myth or Fact? Smartphones have replaced PCs

“Smartphones have replaced PCs”

Is it a myth or is it reality?

The tech industry gets a lot of its juice from myths. After all, creating a future can rely on science fiction and imagination when there isn’t any better information.

However, when things aren’t moving as quickly as hoped or seeming as certain as during the early ’80’s or late 90’s, then it’s worth it to check the myths to see how far along they are towards reality.

One decades-old story features handheld, wearable, or tablet technology that displaces and replace desktop and notebook PCs. Today, the closest thing to that vision is the Smartphone, from the venerable RIM Blackberry to Apple’s iPhone and the flock of Android, Symbian, and Windows-based mobile phones.

While the ever-enthusiastic band of designers, engineers, early adopters and fanboys will describe, ad perpetuam, the many capabilities available in the newest smartphones, what actual users end up actually using often falls short of what is possible. It’s the gap between the possible and the reality where the seriously interested can understand when and how which segment of the market will and won’t adopt technology.

True veterans of the technology industry have seen many grand castles in the air fade into the mist.

Based on our latest waves of Technology User Profile surveys, it’s too early to declare the PC dead. In fact, at present, PCs are more engrained in American’s everyday lives than ever.

The MetaFacts: At present, Smartphone users use more PCs than other adults, and they PCs they use, they use for more activities than other adults (including communication activities)

The MetaFacts: A higher share of Smartphone users say their computer is even more useful than in the previous year.

The MetaFacts: One in four Smartphone users feel their current computer is outdated, and this is the same percentage among users of Basic Mobile Phones.

So, even though Smartphones are increasingly getting closer to the capabilities of PCs, based on how people actually use their Smartphones, it’s too early to declare that this particular myth “Smartphones have replaced PCs” as a reality.

Further Resources

This particular TUPdate draws on the recently released Technology User Profile Overview Report. Contact MetaFacts for more information.

To see other coverage of communication – from cell phones to PC with social networking, chat and webcams – see the other communication-oriented questions TUP covers.

About TUPdates

MetaFacts releases ongoing research on the market shifts and profiles for Smartphones, Netbooks, Windows Vista, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Moms and Dads, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology industry trends and facts. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption around the world. Interested technology professionals can sign up at for complimentary TUPdates – periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts, Inc. is a national market research firm focusing exclusively on the technology industries. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are widely recognized as a primary market sizing and segmentation resource for leading companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, software applications, peripherals, consumer electronics, mobile computing, and related services and products. For more information about the syndicated research service, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.