Did smartphones & tablets kill the PC? Part II: Software & innovation exhaustion

This article is a second in a series.  To read “Part I:  It’s an iPad world, not Windows PC at work, tablets at home8’s” and the article in full, click here.


The PC is not dead; it’s just not at home

With 300 million sales this year, it may be a bit premature to mourn the passing of PCs.  What the decline in PC sales really signifies, some argue, is the death of the home desktop. Take a look at these Business Insider illustrations:


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Did smartphones & tablets kill the PC? Part I: It’s an iPad world, but not Windows 8’s

The decline of PC

Way back in the antediluvian ages of 2010, when everyone thought the “Harlem Shake” was IDC PC sales declinesomething you drink, Apple introduced the iPad.  Nobody, even Apple, really knew how the market would react.  After all people already had smartphones, laptops, netbooks, and the old standby, the desktop PC.  Did folks really want another form factor?

Turns out they did. Tablets sales took off, while PC sales stagnated.  As the above chart from International Data Corp (IDC) demonstrates, the first quarter of 2013 reported a 14% drop in PC shipments, falling below 80 million units for the first time since 2009.  This is the worst quarterly report since IDC began tracking PC shipments in 1994. Read more

How to Use Parts of a Broken Cell Phone as Survival Tools [Infographic]

Hammer smartphone

Suppose you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing, but a broken smartphone?  Don’t despair!  The good folks at ansonalex.com have info that could save your life.  Check out the infographic below:

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Defense Details Large Smartphone Buys

soldier carrying smart phoneAs noted in Wired, the Defense Department has taken a major step toward its goal of “a smartphone for every soldier.” They recently released their Commercial Mobile Device (CMD) Implementation Plan, which details dates, stages, and buys over the next several years.  The DoD may be purchasing as many as 600,000 smartphone devices. As expected, the Pentagon is deliberately being “device agnostic.”  They are looking at Apple and Google –based communication devices, and they have promised to support Blackberry smartphones as well. See below for links to the CMD Implementation plan as well as their overall strategy, which was released last June.

Exerpt from; DoD Commercial Mobile Device Implementation Plan

“As a result of a JROC Capability Gap Assessment, OSD guidance, and strong end user demand for secure classified and unclassified mobile solutions, DoD is orchestrating an effort to provide wireless network services infrastructure, approved devices, applications management, and policies to protect and secure the mobile DoD information ecosystem. The Implementation Plan updates the DoD Mobile Device Strategy, Reference (a), to establish wireless voice, video, and data capabilities in accordance with DoD Instruction 8100.04, Reference (c), by October 2013. The CMD Implementation Plan establishes the framework to equip users and managers with mobile solutions that leverage commercial off-the-shelf products, improve functionality, decrease cost, and enable increased personal productivity….”


Why NFC phone payment may not be a big deal in 2013

This is the second in a series of articles, which predict what will not happen in 2013.  One of the most touted recent trends is “contactless payment” with Near Field Communication (NFC).  Despite what some enthusiasts say, I don’t think people will be throwing away their wallets and credit cards this year for a NFC phone.

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Second Thoughts about Smartphones

Smartphone vs. Tablet vs. PDA
For many IT managers and other personnel responsible for enterprise procurement, smartphones were a cheap, popular way of dipping their toes into the pool of mobile technology.   However, it’s becoming obvious that smartphones are not appropriate for many enterprise applications.  So why second thoughts?

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The Return of the Smartphone Security Issue

As reported previously in this blog, the 2nd Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) appears to have successfully tested ARMY’s communication systems.  Not all the results were reassuring.  For example, there was some nasty feedback about the Nett Warrior.  Most surprising was that many warfighters claimed that they didn’t want or need a smartphone.  The ARMY’s smartphone program is threatened by other dangers as well. As noted in Wired, the smartphone could be a casualty of proposed Defense cuts. However, one of the most serious problems is the one that was identified in the earliest days of the program: security.

I haven’t heard too much about it from the ARMY recently, but some recent news items have raised the prominence of this issue: Read more

NIE Smartphone Results

The Army has just finished its second Network Integration Evaluation (NIE).  This large exercise appears to have accomplished its primary goals of accelerating the notoriously slow acquisition process, field-testing entire networks, and gathering valuable end-user feedback. Sometime massive bureaucratic efforts do work.

Although complete tactical communication systems were tested, the smartphones were the center of attention.  Some results are already filtering out. Read more

Did the Smartphone give ARMY the JTRS?

Recently the ARMY announced the cancellation of its current contract for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Ground Mobile Radio System.  Did its highly publicized plans for a battlefield smartphone have something to it?

An uniformed person might think, “Sure, what does the ARMY need JTRS for, when they’re going for a smartphone?” Actually, the smartphone’s success depends on JTRS.

While security is usually described as the Number 1 concern for the battlefield phone, the lack of cellular service in potential combat zones has emerged as a major obstacle (Razorianfly).  Almost all the proposed solutions for dealing with connectivity are partial. Some of the more innovative solutions include installing cellular equipment on blimps, UAVs, and aerostats.  There’s even talk of a “cell tower in a suitcase.” Read more

The ARMY’s Smartphone may not always be a Smartphone

The Department of Defense is determined to field mobile devices that connect soldiers to networks for the rapid transmission of data. A number of forces have inspired this initiative:

  • Younger soldiers, by their own volition, are using their own smartphones and tablets whenever possible.
  •  The doctrine of network-centric warfare has upended the traditional paradigm of sending ISR to the rear echelons and is instead emphasizing delivering real-time info to the front lines.
  • Enemy forces have successfully used cell phones to relay information in their own networks. Read more