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For work, the traditional PC still rules

The majority of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll rely on their desktop computer or laptop to get through their day.

Ninety-three percent say they go on their computer daily. That compares with 81 percent who said they use their smartphone daily, and 42 percent who use a tablet each day.

A new report from Gartner Inc., the information technology research and advisory company, says that worldwide combined shipments of devices used to connect to the Internet are expected to reach 2.5 billion units this year. End-user spending on devices will total more than $606 billion.

Many people own or use more than one device, and habits for work and personal use are changing as well.

Unlike five or more years ago, when traditional PCs dominated the market, Gartner predicts mobile phones will outsell all other devices, followed by PCs (desktop and laptop) and tablets such as Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.

When it comes to getting things done online for work, 94 percent rely on their desk-top or laptop computer, compared with just 4 percent who use a tablet and 3 percent who use a smartphone.

The smartphone is a much more popular device for gathering news and information. More than a third—36 percent—most often use their smartphone. Fifteen percent are reaching for their iPad, Kindle or other tablet device.

The tablet was most popular for those going online for entertainment. Nearly 30 percent each said they seek entertainment online most often using their smartphone or tablet, though the plurality—43 percent—is still using a traditional computer.

Some respondents noted the need for another category under entertainment to consider the use of smart TVs and streaming media boxes such as Roku, Apple TV and Blue-Ray devices that come equipped with entertainment content sites such as Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, Pandora and YouTube.

Nearly 640 readers participated in this week’s poll, conducted July 13 and 14.

When going online, which of the following devices do you most often use?

When going online for work:    
Desktop/laptop: 94%
Smartphone: 3%
Tablet: 4%

When going online for news and information:    
Desktop/laptop: 49%
Smartphone: 36%
Tablet: 15%

When going online for entertainment:    
Desktop/laptop: 43%
Smartphone: 29%
Tablet: 28%

Which of these devices do you use daily?
Desktop/laptop:  93%
Smartphone:  81%
Tablet:  42%

Also starting to use Apple watch to monitor messages and reply.
—Chan Philbrick, Philbrick Consulting

The laptop works best for me, mostly for the screen size. I use an Android tablet as an add-on, but hate the email apps. I find a smartphone only really useful when I’m on the road, mostly (using the) mapping app and location information.
—Stan Hilt

The answer to the first question is both laptop and smartphone all of the time. I use both my notebook and smartphone for work, especially email and text at home and at work. They have become interchangeable.
—Jim Stefano

You forgot Xbox, PlayStation 3/4, the extra old phone I use as a tablet in the kitchen for recipes, Amazon Fire TV box and other media consumption devices.
—Lee Drake, CEO, OS-Cubed Inc.

I have an iPhone; it’s essentially a mini computer. I have access to anything on the Internet within a few seconds, from anywhere, at anytime. I was at home one night with my laptop across the room and my phone in my hand and needed information about a topic. I was able to get the information on my phone in less time that it would have taken me to walk to my laptop and search it.
—Rich Calabrese, Rochester

Desktop/laptop still excels because of the size and readability. Smartphones are a pain in the butt. Too small to effectively view or read, an unnecessary item to have to carry about (except for emergency/security), and their use in public for other than necessary communication is a rude and unnecessary distraction.
—Jim Weisbeck, Bloomfield

7/17/15 (c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.


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