Why Laptops are an Endangered Species
The latest comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR) data gives us another reason to believe that one day laptops will be obsolete.
It's not that we don't love our laptops. Sometimes they can be downright beautiful. But people really, really love the simplicity of those screen-swiping, finger-flicking devices known as tablets and smartphones. And according to comScore, an increasing number of consumers are using their mobile devices to shop online.
Based on data from comScore's own Mobile Retail Advisor report, the company says that 38% of smartphone owners have used their phone to make a purchase at least once in the course of their device ownership.
“The most popular products purchased on smartphones during the month of September included digital goods, clothing/accessories, tickets and daily deals,” comScore detailed in a company release. Those and other findings will be presented live during a webinar on Wednesday, December 7.
“Fueled by smartphone adoption, mobile is becoming a central part in the shopping funnel for many consumers,” Mark Donovan, comScore's Senior VP for mobile, said in today's company release. “In September we saw two-thirds of all smartphone owners perform shopping activities on their phones, including comparing products and prices, searching for coupons, taking product pictures or locating a retail store. Considering there are currently 90 million smartphone owners in the U.S., retailers without a well-developed mobile strategy are not only missing a tremendous opportunity with these customers but also risk becoming obsolete in the minds of these digital omnivores.”
Here are the full details:
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How, you might wonder, does this mean the end for laptops? That's simple: every time consumers shift their everyday habits from one device to the next, the losing device gets closer and closer to the end of its lifespan. As recent as 15 years ago, most consumers performed their day-to-day online tasks with a clunky desktop PC. In the last five to 10 years, that trend has shifted toward laptops, thanks entirely to falling prices, increasing power, and the simple fact that laptops are portable and desktops are not.
Now that people are throwing smartphones into their pockets and tablets into their bags, it's becoming all the more difficult (if not all the more pointless) to carry a laptop. Consumers can bank online, shop online, and perform a zillion other laptop tasks using any one of the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) or Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) devices available. Going forward, their capabilities are only expected to get stronger.
Long-term, I suspect that Apple or some other clever manufacturer will combine the best of both worlds and release the ultimate touch screen laptop. Until then, expect to see the tablet and smartphone usage data to go up, while desktop PC and laptop usage could continue to deteriorate.
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