Whether or not we are currently living in the post-PC era is no longer a question, Microsoft’s former Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie said recently. ”People argue about ‘are we in a post-PC world?’. Why are we arguing? Of course we are in a post-PC world,” Ozzie said on stage Wednesday at a technology conference, according to Reuters. ”That doesn’t mean the PC dies, that just means that the scenarios that we use them in, we stop referring to them as PCs, we refer to them as other things.” Apple on Wednesday unveiled the latest version of its wildly popular iPad tablet, and dozens of Android-powered media tablets will launch during 2012. Despite the continued proliferation of light-duty tablets, Microsoft is finally planning to counter the tablet craze with its upcoming Windows 8 platform, an operating system that will find its way to media tablets as well as full-fledged personal computers. Gartner said in a report on Thursday that it expects the traditional PC market to grow 4.4% in 2012 after staying flat in 2011. More →
Last month, Capcom announced that the sixth installment of the company’s Resident Evil series would launch for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 20th, with a PC version coming soon after. Details surrounding the game were few and far between, however Capcom previously announced that Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield would join forces in a world where bioterrorist attacks have turned everyone into a zombie. According to Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, Capcom has now confirmed that the undead will be able to run and use firearms, and they are not infected with the T-virus but something else entirely. To survive the hordes of next-generation zombies, characters will have the ability to run and shoot simultaneously, quick-turn, roll, dive, take cover and use melee combat. Executive producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi confirmed in the publication that number six is not a return to the franchise’s roots, instead taking the best elements of the fourth and fifth installments and adding more horror. The video trailer for Resident Evil 6 follows below. More →
Smartphone shipments overtook client PC shipments for the first time in 2011, according to new data from market research firm Canalys. Vendors shipped a total of 158.5 million smartphones in the fourth quarter, representing a 57% increase compared to the 101.2 million units shipped in the same quarter a year earlier. Shipments for the full year of 2011 rose 63% to 487.7 million units, up from 299.7 million shipped in 2010. The PC market only grew 15% to 414.6 million units in 2011, which included an astonishing 274% increase in tablet shipments — tablets accounted for 15% of all PC shipments last year according to Canalys. The firm expects growth in the smartphone market to slow in 2012, with vendors putting more focus on profitability. Canalys’s press release follows below.
Apple pulled ahead of HP in the fourth quarter to become the largest player in the client PC market, a new report suggested Monday. The Cupertino-based company shipped more than 15 million iPads and 5 million Mac computers last quarter, and those figures represented 17% of all PCs shipped around the world during the fourth quarter. The report, which comes from market research firm Canalys, said PC shipments grew 16% annually to reach 120 million during the quarter, and the firm’s categorization of “PC” includes desktops, notebooks, netbooks and tablets in its figures. Tablets drove PC growth, however, and Canalys said the market would have declined by 0.4% without taking tablets into consideration. Read on for more. More →
Capcom announced recently that Resident Evil 6 will launch on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 20th, and that a PC version will follow soon after. The company said the game will take place in a world where bioterrorist attacks are occurring around the globe, inciting fear everywhere and turning everyone into zombies. The President of the United States decides to address the U.S. until he, too, is attacked and becomes a zombie. Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield will work together to save the world alongside new characters, and we hope to give the game a whirl later this year during E3 — provided it’s on display, of course. The Resident Evil series made its debut in 1996 and the series has achieved global sales in excess of 47 million units. The trailer and press release for Resident Evil 6 follow after the break. More →
Tablet owners spend big bucks online according to a new report. In fact, the new study published by Adobe Digital Marketing Insights suggests that tablet owners spend 50% more per purchase than smartphone owners on retail purchases, and over 20% more than PC users. The study found that smartphone owners spent about $80 per purchase on average but tablet owners spent an average of $123. Laptop/PC users spent $102 per retail purchase on average in 2011. Tablet owners are three times more likely to make a purchase on a retail website than a smartphone user is, too. Adobe Digital Marketing Insights gathered its data from more than 150 U.S. retailers last year and more than 16.2 billion transactions made online. More →
Apple on Thursday released an updated version of its iTunes software following a series of announcements made during the company’s press conference in New York City. The Cupertino, California-based firm unveiled its new interactive iPad textbook product alongside iBooks 2 Thursday morning, and it also took the wraps off of an updated iTunes U service that includes new tools for teachers and a new iPad app. To accommodate Apple’s new features, the company also pushed out iTunes 10.5.3, which is available for download immediately. Apple’s official change log follows below. More →
Horace Dediu of Asymco put together a graph plotting the history of personal computing over the last 37 years. Dediu took PC data published by Jeremy Reimer and added smartphone stats along with updated PC and Apple numbers from research firm Gartner. From the data we can see that when combined, Android and iOS account for a higher shipment volume than the entire PC industry. When excluding Macs, the PC industry accounted for just 336 million units shipped in 2011, in comparison to 358 million Android and iOS units. Dediu added that the iPad cannot be considered a niche product. “The absolute volume of units sold after less than two years is enough to place it within an order of magnitude of all PCs sold,” said Dediu. “We can also observe that it has a higher trajectory than the iPhone which became a disruptive force in itself.” More →
During the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Best Buy announced that it will reorganize part of its business to focus on sales of connected devices such as tablets, smartphones and computers. Best Buy has created a new retail “connectivity business group,” Forbes said Friday, that will sell the aforementioned devices in Best Buy Mobile and Best Buy retail stores with 3G and 4G wireless service plans. Forbes explained that the connectivity business group (CBG) is similar to Best Buy Mobile but incorporates more devices and will include 15,000 employees from Best Buy Mobile and another 20,000 from Best Buy retail stores who previously worked to sell tablets and computers. Consumers likely won’t see any form of CBG branding and the changes will mostly affect Best Buy’s training practices for its Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores. Both stores will sell the products and Best Buy Mobile will likely begin offering connected laptops and tablets in addition to its current smartphone catalog. More →
Despite the launch of Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system and the introduction of ultra-thin Intel-powered ultrabooks, Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes thinks the PC industry will see little or no growth in 2012. Reitzes recently said that he expects PC unit growth to hover around just 0.8%, down from his original forecast of 5.1%. He argued that hard drive shortages “could impact some supply” during the first half of next year and that tablets and smartphones will “continue to cannibalize the PC market — especially as docking options become more robust.” Recent flooding in Thailand affected two major hard drive suppliers, Western Digital and Seagate, causing a hard drive shortage that impacted much of the industry. Reitzes also blames the poor economy for his lowered estimates, and he argued that corporations are less likely to refresh their PCs since unemployment is still high. The analyst’s figures aren’t that far off from other industry predictions. IDC recently said the flooding in Thailand could cause PC shipment growth to fall to between 2.2% and 3.4%, down from the firm’s original forecast of 5.1% growth over 2011.
Hewlett-Packard’s webOS hardware is dead and buried but the fate of the platform itself remains to be determined. HP may hold on to the OS and use it on printers and PCs, and there have been plenty of rumors surrounding talks the company is having in an effort to license the platform to other firms. According to an interview in French newspaper Le Figaro, HP CEO Meg Whitman has gone on record in stating that a decision regarding the fate of webOS will be made within two weeks. HP took possession of webOS when it acquired Palm for $1.2 billion in 2010, and that buy yielded one failed tablet that was discontinued shortly after launching, three failed smartphones and soon, perhaps, the death of webOS itself. The promising mobile platform BGR once heralded as a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnant smartphone market now finds itself an afterthought in a space dominated by two major players: Apple and Google. As RIM prepares a fresh new OS in an attempt to regain momentum and Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform looks ready to take off, HP and any potential webOS licensees certainly have their work cut out for them. More →
Speaking at an investor meeting recently, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs confirmed that his company is working with Microsoft in an effort to deploy Windows 8-powered computers that run on Qualcomm’s ARM-based Snapdragon processors. “We’re going to see some interesting stuff going on,” Jacobs said. “Windows 8 on ARM is a big opportunity.” It’s not an easy task: Microsoft’s previous operating systems, and the existing applications, are designed to run on x86 processors. Qualcomm is optimistic that Snapdragon PCs will be available by the end of next year however, and that developers will rewrite applications to run properly on ARM processors. “For the apps that you really care about, I don’t see it as a significant growth inhibitor in terms of ARM vs. Windows,” Qualcomm chief operating officer Steve Mollenkopf said according to CNET. “I don’t think the impact is as significant as what others believe.” More →
Head of sales and marketing for Samsung’s personal computer business Uhm Kyu Ho confirmed recently that his company will launch a Windows 8-powered computer during the second half of next year. The device will offer a touchscreen and will likely serve as the successor to the company’s Series 7 slate PC, Bloomberg said Wednesday. Samsung isn’t the only one ready to deploy the new operating system. Recent rumors have suggested that Dell has a device scheduled to launch during third quarter of 2012, and HP CEO Meg Whitman confirmed that her company will sell a Windows 8 computer sometime next year. Additionally, smartphone maker HTC is also rumored to be working on a Windows 8 tablet. On September 13th, Microsoft announced that it was beginning to ship its brand new Windows 8 operating system to developers. The OS offers a number of enhancements over Windows 7, most notably the company’s new “Metro” user interface. More →