A MYTH about Desktops Vs Handhelds

The media was never in such a worse condition like today. There was a time in history when a newspaper (sole kinda media then) was used as a tool for freedom struggles and a voice against oppression. With the same concept in our heads the world moved on and so did humanity. History changed and repeated but technology kept growing. With the growth of digital technology 'handicraft'(rather something engineered by hands) lost importance and the mind with machines took over. A machine that was built by human hands was now designed, refined and built by their fellow machine hands (industrial robots). The increase in precision and speed triggered a frenzy of products pouring out the market right from clothes to technology related.

Over the time humans forgot the hardwork of a person needed behind a product and rather started working hard for choosing a product OR starting working hard to confuse consumers with multiple products of almost same standards. The media/newspaper was no longer a tool of the common man, it rather became a product catalogue for someone who could afford to pay them to plant news of products and men alike. Humans had forgotten that the media were themselves pretending to be oppressed and appearing like the common man, joining in struggles against the material lords. Media houses were paid to be politically or technologically inclined. We were bombarded with stupid statistics of how much a news paper costs to be made and yet we can afford it at Rs.1 or now Rs.3 for a premium one because of the advertisements in it. We were aware yet forgot that even the headlines or normal news we read these days is actually an advertisement.

A recent analysis by IDC said - PC sales slumping and tablets sales climbing up. The media went crazy over this and started the PC Vs Tablet/Smartphone wars which didn't even exist. The news itself was laughable because it had 2 funny sides of ignorant people that the media/ paid media was exploiting. First, the tablet or smartphone is still a small PC or a Desktop computer (u can call it a MAC too). PCs had touchscreens long back, but the applications were different. The tablets integrated keyboards into the screens itself making them lighter and portable. Second, Tablets and PCs cannot be compared if we look at their application today. Let me take you back in time.

There was a time when having a hotmail account was prestigious even if it was free. The prestigious part of it was that you could have an account, but using it regularly was a big deal. Forget the Internet, not even a Desktop Computer was then affordable to a common man. Even if it was affordable, it hadn't got a use worth its cost. A PC/MAC used to adore offices and homes of people related to the industry including simple DTPs, designers or engineers. Still a common man wanted to use a PC to be able to email their friends and family who were far away. They wanted to get away from heavy keys of typewriters and get smoother in their work with great word processing apps like Word.

Things look brighter when many people tried to afford a PC yet couldn't afford an internet connection (that was stable in connection). Internet café's offered a haven for such people. For the cost as less as a cuppa coffee, one could surf the net for an hour. These services offered email or general surfing. Eventually everyone was on the internet. Once they got addicted to the world wide web they wanted to save more to buy a new computer and internet connection at home. Internet was getting a wider bandwidth and now starting to offer multiplayer gaming, video chats and more. At that time mobile phones could call or SMS at a good high cost.

A lesser known fact. MP3 players were first made by creative who sued APPLE for ipod patent at a time. Apple settled the case and as we know today that an ipod stands for a mp3 player. Regardless of that the ipod was changing the scenes. MP3 format itself had shaken the biggies of hollywood and music industry for the piracy of general artists songs as well as movie soundtracks. MP4 with videos was adding a new trouble. With video playing handheld devices, a new headache of movie piracy dawned. A p2p network and an internet connection was all one needed to download a pirated movie for free, but STILL everyone needed a PC.

A smart person or a team thought of integrating a mp3/mp4 player with a phone. And as far as I knew long before Nokia or Apple brought up something like this, chinese and Israel versions existed. There was even a chinese smartwatch (wearable watch with mobile, mp3, mp4 all together) available in 2004. A smartwatch is yet to be release by any company today because they wait for the smartphone market to get saturated. But the smartphone changed the sales of the devices. Smartphones today are actually like having a desktop computer in your palms. Some techie's might remember palmtops!

Smartphones today are much smarter, they can do everything a PC can apart from development of apps or softwares. They can do everything else that a normal consumer would want to do like email, call, sms, see videos, listen to music, GPS navigations and a lot more. But is that the only reason that the tide shifted towards handheld devices? Not really! It was actually the trend to have everything for free. Smartphones allow youtube videos to be downloaded and nowadays even torrentz. You can download music anyway, but download a movie, copy it to a USB and see it on your TV. Simple! The free stuff/apps that one gets on smartphones is equally interesting. Again humans forgot nothing comes for free. Free apps can access your phone, camera, gallery, location and many other details. We ignore this even knowing the dangers for this, or maybe many don’t feel its dangerous. A free app from ur smartphone can start your camera and you might not be even knowing it.

Coming back to the point, its laughable to compare smartphones and desktops in terms of sales. They were never comparable things. Desktops regardless of their sales will still be required. Google fans can also believe in this due to Chromebooks and maybe Chrome desktops that will pop up in future. They will be needed to develop app and content for the consumer tailored smart-devices like smartphones and tablets. When you are buying a smartphone you are still buying a PC that is not capable of developing stuff. The future tablets will come with a keyboard again with ability to develop apps but they will shy themselves away from the handheld devices more towards laptop/pc segment again. A developer knows today that even one screen is not enough, so we will be having multiprocessors and multiscreen desktops in future. Once the media finds a way to make them look more useful, the handheld devices sales will drop. Its all the game of the media the consumers are only made a fool of!



Your article must be written in English

June 03, 2013


Thanks @Sallyjogary

June 02, 2013


You simplify the circular reasoning between marketing, manufacturers and consumers. I enjoyed your train of thought.

May 31, 2013


U can have a mouse on MAC too. Regardless, a Desktop is a desktop. I use Windows only btw! :)

May 31, 2013


Windows 8 is introduced with touch screen. Please they can keep pushing out new OS but don't take away the mouse :( ! I still prefer the big LCD LED screen to work with behind a computer : (

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Photo credits: , Nikhil Gangavane.