New usage models will have a profound impact on the computer and semiconductor industries, according to In-Stat. That dynamic is already apparent as consumers’ desire for increased mobility combined with new technology, especially wireless broadband (Wi-Fi) access, have reinvigorated the growth of the PC market in both mature and emerging markets. Mobile PC growth in 2004 topped 25%, outpacing all other computing segments.
Although the PC will not necessarily replace all other consumer or communications devices, especially in the home, future PC designs will allow users more functionality and flexibility. This will result in the mobile PC market accounting for close to half of annual sales by the end of this decade. The flexibility and functionality of PCs will continue to increase, but the PC will not become the digital communication nexus to the home. The changes in the PC market will also affect the underlying semiconductor market by driving the need for more integrated and specialized solutions to a broadening target market.