Smartphones Now Outsell Personal Computers

The number of smartphones shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010 reached 101 million for the first time ever, a near 90-percent improvement year on year, according to market researcher IDC.

Figures published last month showed that global PC shipments over the same period grew by 2.7 per cent to 92 million units. For the whole of 2010 though, more than 340 million PCs, most of them with Microsoft Windows as OS, have been sold compared to just over 300 million smartphones.

Nokia remains the indisputable leader when it comes to smartphone shipped with 28 million units although both Apple and Samsung may soon claim its crown.

As for comments about whether the era of personal computers might come to an end, fuelled by the rise of the nimbler smartphone, one has to bear in mind that the two fulfill different functions with the phone, albeit a smart one, being used mainly to make calls.

However, convergence is unavoidable as the recent launch of the smartphone-turn-into-laptop Motorola Atrix 4G has proved; in addition, more powerful hardware and the insistence of some companies like Apple to adopt smartphone features (instant resume, app store etc) mean that the personal computer will soon become the very personal computer.