The post-PC era is perhaps not as clear-cut a trend as Apple would have us believe, states IDC analyst.

Towards the “PC Plus” era
The drop in PC sales observed in 2011 and especially in the last trimester, Apple’s leading position for “client PC” sales in Q4 2011 (17% share of the world market and 12.7% for HP according to Canalysis) thanks to the sale of 15 million iPads and 5 million Macs and 5 million Kindle Fire tablets sold by Amazon in just a few months tend to confirm a profound transformation in the computer hardware industry.

If indeed a post-PC era is on its way, at present Bob O’Donnell of IDC prefers to talk about a “PC Plus” era, meaning “the use of a PC and additional terminals”.

What will be the deciding factor between PCs and tablets?
According to the IDC analyst, the user is a key protagonist at the centre of this combat. “There are still many applications that can’t be used on tablets, and the processing power of computers, the keyboard, the mouse all remain very important aspects.”

Looking at this fratricidal war in which the PC and the digital slate seem to be embroiled, Bob O’Donnell sees in the long run a situation of real complementarity between terminals. “Tablets will occupy a unique place, PCs too, but with more and more possibilities for interacting with each other.”

Another protagonist in this battle: the software publisher. Bob O’Donnell backs up his forecasts with the example of Adobe, which is developing applications specifically for tactile interfaces, considering them as complementing rather replacing applications dedicated to portable computers.

> « The PC is not dead »… explanations from Bob O’Donnell of IDC during an interview with Dell

> Ventes de PC en 2011 : hausse ou baisse ? (PC sales in 2011: rise or fall?) An e-media post (in French)

> IDC’s forecast for the PC, smartphone and media tablet market up to 2016