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Are smartphones the future of the PC industry?

by Scott Bicheno on 17 November 2009, 13:10

Tags: Canalys

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Converge or die

HEXUS.channel comes to you from the Canalys mobility forum EMEA today, where the theme is the convergence of the PC and smartphone industries and what this means for both of them.

In his keynote, Canalys CEO Steve Brazier was uninhibited about stating that he thinks the future growth and profitability lies in the direction of smartphones. Not only is it a less mature, less consolidated industry but, thanks in part to the subsidy model, the average selling prices are much higher.

While it must be noted that Brazier stated "we are the defacto standard for smartphone data," and thus has a clear interest in the success of the smartphone sector, some of the figures he had to offer are hard to argue with.

Here are a couple of slides that seek to illustrate the relative commercial opportunities available in the respective sectors. There are a lot of figures in them, but have a look at the margin percentages for PCs and compare them to smartphones. The point he was trying to make is that Wintel - i.e Windows plus Intel CPUs - dominate margins in the PC sector, while the same is not the case with smartphones.