For the first time in history US consumers are using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets more than PCs to access the internet.
The New Jersey Institute of technology (NJIT) is asking a curious question with a new infographic they have recently released: Will mobile devices replace personal computers? It’s the old toad and frog question. A mobile device is a computer, but a computer is not a mobile device.
In 2016, 68% of Americans owned smartphones and 45% owned tablets. That’s compared to the 73% who owned a desktop.
There are clear advantages to owning mobile devices over a desktop and vice versa. You can download a wealth of optimized mobile apps and have them anywhere you want. Go ahead and check your bank statements while rock climbing, there’s an app for that. That tired saying has even become synonymous for how easy and effective the mobile aspects of our lives have become.
Still though, sometimes you need to sit down and get work done. A physical keyboard is typically easier to use when you need to type quickly compared to a mobile device and comes equipped with a larger monitor with better displays. Tracking hours and managing security is also something best done by computers. Desktops don’t have to worry about running out of battery either, something many mobile users worry about on a daily or even hourly basis. Sure, you can plug in a mobile device and use it, but then it becomes tethered to the outlet and that mobility goes out the metaphorical door.
The infographic concludes with the idea that a real battle between mobile devices and computers is fruitless, as the true player will be the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT simply means a constant connectivity to the internet with computing devices embedded in everyday objects, from cars to fridges. Retailers must focus on adopting this kind of technology to bring digital, mobile and store experiences together to truly interact and please a consumer.