updated 03:20 pm EDT, Tue August 2, 2011
Fujitsu sees iPad and other tablets passing PCs
Tablets are likely to overtake PCs within the next five years, Fujitsu CTO Dr. Joseph Reger claims. He expects devices like the iPad to eat into PC sales to where tablets become the dominant models by 2016. Most users consider consuming content more important than creating it, Dr. Reger says in Register-caught statements, and it's mostly just business that needs desktops and notebooks.
As prices decline, tablets could be cheap enough that users don't have to go to one machine, the CTO envisioned. An owner could have multiple tablets and just leave them in parts of the home where the tablet is most necessary. The upcoming Amazon tablet if cheap enough could fit that role.
Key to the success would be app availability, he said. Apple currently has an advantage with over 100,000 native iPad apps where Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS, and webOS have a few thousand at best.
Dr. Reger's comments are somewhat unusual for Fujitsu, which has usually tied most of its fate to Microsoft and still makes a large number of the traditional PCs that would be hurt if the prediction came true. Fujitsu is distinct among Windows manufacturers, however, in leaning fairly heavily on tablets and just this summer is breaking rank with an Android tablet. The Japanese firm may be hinting at a future direction that shies away from notebooks and, even on Windows, focuses more on systems like the LifeBook TH40D.
Accuracy for the estimate is difficult to gauge. Intel may have given indirect support in reporting its spring revenues. While it hit a record high, much of that was in enterprise-grade servers and workstations. Chips for home computers were mostly saved by enough of those abandoning netbooks moving on to pricier notebooks even as some of them were opting for tablets.