Michael Dell doesn't see smartphones as a threat to PC

There are some people in the tech industry who believe the days of the PC are coming to the end, thanks to the growing popularity of smartphones and tablet devices. A person who doesn't believe that, naturally enough, is Dell founder and current CEO Michael Dell. PCWorld.com reports that during an address in India on Monday, Dell said, "If you were going off to college and could only have one device, you would choose the PC over a smartphone or a tablet."

One of the problems with smartphones is that while they have web browsers for Internet access, their small screens can sometimes be a cause of frustration in terms of reading material on web sites. Indeed, Dell said that viewing sites on a smartphone screen was like looking through "a peephole". He added, "So think of these small mobile devices as creating the next wave of users who will want larger-screen devices."

While Dell may not see smartphones as a big threat to the PC business, he did say that Dell would be making some smartphone related announcements "soon". The company hasn't had much luck with selling smartphones and tablets in the past.

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Perhaps Michael Dell needs to talk with the people at Microsoft. Their new Windows-8 is just for tablets and smart-phones; with very little, if anything, for serious PC users. The "great divide" is developing--table and smart phone users vs. laptop/desktop user.

Well considering how many "consumers" are buying technology, a tablet or smartphone would suit their needs fine (consuming content). There's a much smaller PC market for people who actually produce things or play non-casual games.

Even in business, a lot of people only use their PC for email, scheduling, or checking reports, which can all be done on a smartphone or tablet with ease.

Agreed. Content consumers make up most of the technology market, so it's inevitable that tablets, smart phones, and other highly mobile devices will dominate.

PC is a different league than Laptop or Tablets or Smartphone. Microsoft is trying to mix apples and oranges but they do not realize that PC carries enough power that some things are impossible to do on other devices.

If we polled under 25's (general public, not just members of a tech news site) which they'd rather give up if they had to, PC or phone people would choose to keep their phone by a long way.

thealexweb said,
If we polled under 25's (general public, not just members of a tech news site) which they'd rather give up if they had to, PC or phone people would choose to keep their phone by a long way.

Ummmmmm no im 20 give me the desktop.

thealexweb said,
If we polled under 25's (general public, not just members of a tech news site) which they'd rather give up if they had to, PC or phone people would choose to keep their phone by a long way.

22 here, Mac by a loooong shot.

GS:mac

MS Lose32 said,
But then again, most people actually have friends that they use the phone to communicate with.

Guess what, there's Skype, emails, instant messengers, facebook, twitter, several other cross-platform stuff and of cause your *cough, puts on old radio effect* the all new and shiny "house telephone" connected via so called "LANDLINES".

GS:mac

thealexweb said,
If we polled under 25's (general public, not just members of a tech news site) which they'd rather give up if they had to, PC or phone people would choose to keep their phone by a long way.

Honestly, if I wasn't such a big PC gamer or game programmer, I'd probably go with my phone. It's what I use to browse the internet half the time anyway.

I will give a very real reason why tablets are NOT a threat.. investment. I have some PC games and software, which are not even on any tablet.. We are talking about everyone here, not a few people with extra cash to blow on a tablet.

The day they can come out with a tablet with the same peformance and benefit as my PC, THEN and only then will they be a threat, until then Tablets are simply the new fad. Yes I said FAD!

I have World of Warcraft, do you see a high end video card for a tablet? Can you have user replaceable parts in a tablet? I have many Windows apps that I paid for, no software equivalent in Tablet, and even if there were I have to pay for them AGAIN! No thanks.

Tablets are cool, they are small, lightweight and usable for looking up recipes, maybe open close a couple of documents, or read some emails on the go. Ever tried typing a report on a tablet? Your fingers will fall off or your tips of your fingers (not to mention fatique) will be in so much pain you have to stop.

Tapping on a glass is NOT comfortable, sorry but it's not! Now get me a tablet that can give me 60 FPS to play first person shooters, a soft keyboard (yeah I know I can buy an external keyboard), and by the time you get external mouse, monitor, keyboard, and add-ins for the tablet.. umm.. that's a PERSONAL COMPUTER (have we forgotten what PC stands for people?!?!)

Why do we NEED a tablet for this, when I can do this ALREADY. Tablets were NOT meant to replace the PC, they were meant to be mobile and accessible when NOT at home or in front of the office computer.

Tablets don't have to be as good as PC's to sell. Just like how consoles have lower specs than PC's, the same goes for smart phones and tablets. It's the ease of use and mobility that drives tablets.

And when you have quad core tegra 3 devices like the transformer, you can even play great games on them too. When you get home, just plug it into your 1080p tv, and you have a console experience. This is going to revolutionise gaming, content consumption, and just about everything else you can imagine.

That's right and if I had to choose just one device - it would definitely be a laptop or desktop. PC is the most versatile, most powerful.

Sorry but if you can afford to go to college then the chances are VERY likely that you have BOTH a (smart)phone AND a PC. That is not too far fetched now a days
(and PERHAPS even a tablet as well.....)

For this very reason i think microsoft is jumping the gun on Windows 8. Metro is terrible for the mouse and also looks down right boring. If Windows 8 had a taskbar like the windows 7 taskbar they would thrash ios and android multitasking.

Iridium said,
For this very reason i think microsoft is jumping the gun on Windows 8. Metro is terrible for the mouse and also looks down right boring. If Windows 8 had a taskbar like the windows 7 taskbar they would thrash ios and android multitasking.

You realize the Metro in Windows 8 is essentially the Start Menu revamped, right? You still have the desktop and everything...

I just do not see what one thing has to do with the other in your post.

M_Lyons10 said,

You realize the Metro in Windows 8 is essentially the Start Menu revamped, right? You still have the desktop and everything...

I just do not see what one thing has to do with the other in your post.

I dont think he knew what he was talking abotu there

M_Lyons10 said,

You realize the Metro in Windows 8 is essentially the Start Menu revamped, right? You still have the desktop and everything...

I just do not see what one thing has to do with the other in your post.

I know there is a desktop app that runs pretty much the same the old windows desktops run, but why not present a simple taskbar on tablets. Do you really think swipping through each individual app to find what you are looking for is easier?!?!?

I agree with Dell. As far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't consider getting a tablet or a smartphone if I didn't have a PC or laptop. Tablets are additions to desktops and laptops, and smartphones are more for on-the-go things. I can't imagine trying to write a report or create a spreadsheet with one.

Intrinsica said,
I agree with Dell. As far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't consider getting a tablet or a smartphone if I didn't have a PC or laptop. Tablets are additions to desktops and laptops, and smartphones are more for on-the-go things. I can't imagine trying to write a report or create a spreadsheet with one.

+1

Intrinsica said,
I agree with Dell. As far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't consider getting a tablet or a smartphone if I didn't have a PC or laptop. Tablets are additions to desktops and laptops, and smartphones are more for on-the-go things. I can't imagine trying to write a report or create a spreadsheet with one.

I've actually used Pages on my iPhone 4 and must admit, that it works quite well actually, however, it worked because I was on the go (on the train to be exact) and wanted to get it done, so I didn't feel bothered, it was the best I had, way better than trying to use handwriting on a college block with a shaky train ride going on, but when I'm at home I see the proper solution and want to treat my fingers and my eye/hand coordination and use the keyboard.

Yes, you can hook up the iPhone (for example) to an LCD, use a keyboard, with jailbreaking even a mouse etc...
Still, I want to be able to manage my doc's on a per-file and just not per-app basis with my main productivity device, namely my Mac.

Here's to you, Michael Dell, you got the facts right.

GS:mac

Edited by Glassed Silver, Jan 10 2012, 7:31pm :

Intrinsica said,
I can't imagine trying to write a report or create a spreadsheet with one.

Ignoring the fact that tablets are designed more for content consumption, which the majority of people do, than creation, you can easily plug in a usb keyboard, or get something like the transformer for typing loads of stuff out.

Joey S said,

Ignoring the fact that tablets are designed more for content consumption...

Well no, if you choose to ignore that one point then you're missing my whole point. That is exactly why PCs and laptops will not be replaced by tablets and smartphones.

And yes, you could easily plug in a USB keyboard - providing the tablet/smartphone has a USB port (*cough* iPad *cough*) - but then why not just get a laptop while will allow you to do more and do it more easily?

Intrinsica said,

Well no, if you choose to ignore that one point then you're missing my whole point. That is exactly why PCs and laptops will not be replaced by tablets and smartphones.

And yes, you could easily plug in a USB keyboard - providing the tablet/smartphone has a USB port (*cough* iPad *cough*) - but then why not just get a laptop while will allow you to do more and do it more easily?


*cough*
iPad camera connection kit.

But I don't think you can hook up keyboards with it, maybe with a jb.

Then, there's always bluetooth and even an Apple wireless keyboard with an dock connector even for the iPad.
But you can use others, too.

GS:mac

He's partially right. Smartphones are not.

But tablets really are. They are getting all these crazy mechanism and attachable keyboards. Hardly any difference from a laptop.

FMH said,
He's partially right. Smartphones are not.

But tablets really are. They are getting all these crazy mechanism and attachable keyboards. Hardly any difference from a laptop.


I think he's forgetting that it's easy enough to hook a tablet up to a 50 inch 1080p tv or 30 inch monitor, or use a usb keyboard/transformer prime.

He's right, if I had to give up at least one item: phone, tablet or PC - the tablet would lose, it's a sofa surfer. And the phone too small for real surfing/work.

PC is king, and I'm certain will be for another decade.
Sales are slow because most people have been investing into tablets/smartphones right now because they think they need them.
In the meantime, they've kept PC's which quite honestly even 10 year old XP systems still do a perfect job (i.e. Win XP running Firefox 9)

Exosphere said,
He's right, if I had to give up at least one item: phone, tablet or PC - the tablet would lose, it's a sofa surfer. And the phone too small for real surfing/work.

PC is king, and I'm certain will be for another decade.
Sales are slow because most people have been investing into tablets/smartphones right now because they think they need them.
In the meantime, they've kept PC's which quite honestly even 10 year old XP systems still do a perfect job (i.e. Win XP running Firefox 9)

Yeah, I never thought I'd say I agreed with something Michael Dell said... lol But, and I've been saying this now for a while, a phone or a tablet will NEVER replace the PC. There's just too much that they're not ideal for...

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, I never thought I'd say I agreed with something Michael Dell said... lol But, and I've been saying this now for a while, a phone or a tablet will NEVER replace the PC. There's just too much that they're not ideal for...


I'm pretty sure that it will go the other way around, where the phone will be replaced by the PC, and minaturized, until the PC essentially is a phone. And you just "dock" it at your desk to get a larger screen.

They're not, but tablets are that's for certain. Some of the folding tablet designs coming out are seriously reconsidering whether I buy a new laptop for the family, or a tablet.

The Teej said,
They're not, but tablets are that's for certain. Some of the folding tablet designs coming out are seriously reconsidering whether I buy a new laptop for the family, or a tablet.

But they're not a threat, either, on the Windows side of the fence, which is built for tablet and PC hybrids. I've seen a few ultrabooks like that, and I'd love to have one. They're the only types of ultrabooks that I'd recommend to anyone.

Meph said,

But they're not a threat, either, on the Windows side of the fence, which is built for tablet and PC hybrids. I've seen a few ultrabooks like that, and I'd love to have one. They're the only types of ultrabooks that I'd recommend to anyone.

I guess it's more a case of they're a potential threat, rather then a direct and current threat I guess. I wouldn't be surprised if the tablet form factor replaced the traditional PC in the next 5 or 10 years.

Think about it, even if people need a bigger screen, someone could bring out a tablet with an HDMI or Thunderbolt connection that could be connected to a 24" touch screen monitor and you'd be sorted. If you want to sit comfortably on the couch to watch a movie or catch up on Facebook, disconnect it from the monitor and sit down.

The common user does 4 things on their PC these days:

Consume Multimedia (movies, music, etc)
Browse the Internet/Facebook/E-Mail
Play some casual game (probably on FB, no doubt)
Office applications, like type up a letter

Now, the first 3 can already easily be done on a tablet, with the fourth being so-so available. Once someone brings out a fully competent office application on the tablet, coupled with Tegra 3 or even Core i5s being shoved into tablets... why would the average joe need a PC anymore? These tablets will cost around the same as a notebook or even a full PC, and a lot of them can connect them up to their existing TV or PC monitor already via HDMI.

With Windows 8 coming out on tablets, and Microsoft cooking up something tasty for a Metro version of Office, counting out the tablet as a potential fierce rival to the PC is extremely short sighted.

Yep. It's really exciting.

But I didn't mean it wasn't a threat at all. Microsoft are preventing tablets from being a threat to PCs because they are now one and the same. As for the desktop PC format, though, they're becoming more and more niche for people like us.