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IDC Predicts More Interoperability and Mobile-Like Features in Future PCs

Research firm IDC made a recent forecast regarding wireless technologies in the PC marketplace.  The report opens with a rather dramatic statement about the traditional PC market’s recent struggles.  The document reads that the business for traditional computing experiences is currently “in the midst of an unprecedented slump.”  There is no question that the PC industry is in a transitional period.  Tablet and smartphone sales continue to rise while desktop and laptop sales have dropped significantly.  Rescuecom even added tablets to its reliability report recently to account for this shift in the industry.   What’s most interesting however, is the prediction that IDC makes regarding how manufacturers must adjust to this new paradigm.  IDC believes that the inclusion of new wireless technologies to promote interoperability with other devices will be important in the years to come.

According to IDC, computer manufacturers need to focus on including these wireless technologies in order for PC sales to remain competitive.  One of the technologies brought up in IDC’s report is 4G LTE wireless connectivity.  IDC expects that cellular broadband will be included in more laptops over the coming years. This will be to promote laptops as a device in that occupies the same ecosystem as smartphones and tablets.  The research firm forecasts that 4G LTE technology penetration in portable PC shipments will grow from 0.39% in 2012 to 6.72% in 2017.  The inclusion of new technologies like 4G LTE receivers will also necessitate more complex hardware manufacturing.  In theory, that increased complexity could lead to an increased need for PC repair in the future.

IDC was particularly optimistic about the inclusion of NFC (Near-Field Communications) in future computers.  NFC is a technology that allows quick exchanges of information wirelessly between compatible devices.  Common applications of this technology include mobile payments and the quick sharing of photos, videos and other media files. While NFC has low usage today, IDC believes it will grow.  The research firm notes that it has penetrated the mobile device market significantly so far to back up its claims.  The report also expresses the opinion that NFC could “galvanize the PC experience…as a mechanism of interoperability between all devices.”  The report predicts that we’ll see NFC technology in 9.79% of laptop shipments and 4.38% of desktop shipments by 2017.

As with all market forecasts, these are all simply educated guesses.  It’s impossible to predict what other changes might disrupt these possibilities for the PC market in the next five years.  Only time will tell if IDC is on the right track with its predictions.


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