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"Applications such as e-mail, social networking and Internet access , that were traditionally the domain of the PC, are now being used across media tablets and smartphones, making these devices in some cases more valued and attractive propositions," Atwal said.
Consumers now have the ability to examine each task they have to perform and select the computing device for executing it in the most effective, fun and convenient way. "The device has to meet the user needs, not the other way round," Atwal said.
Emerging Markets To Drive Growth
The number of consumers adopting cloud -based services as part of their digital ecosystem is on a steep growth trajectory, which is not good news for traditional PC vendors.
"The evolution of the personal cloud will challenge vendors across all mobile devices markets and add to the hurdles for PC vendors to overcome to revive the PCs and differentiate them from tablets," Atwal said. "The creation of content capabilities of PCs may not be enough to counteract the better content consumption capabilities of media tablets."
Moreover, large businesses and other major organizations that formerly ordered laptops for their mobile employees are switching to tablets. Forrester Research predicts that by 2016 more than 70 million information workers in the U.S. and Europe will be equipped with a media tablet.
Gartner's expectation is that worldwide PC growth in 2012 and beyond will be driven by sales in emerging markets -- with their share increasing from about 50 percent in 2011 to nearly 70 percent in 2016.
"Emerging markets have very low PC penetration and even with the availability of other devices we still expect a steady uptake of PCs," Atwal said.