Dell’s (NASDAQ: DELL) best days are behind it. The same is true for Lenovo, Acer, and the PC division of HP (NYSE: HPQ). Research firm Canalys reports that smartphone sales passed PC sales in 2011, for the first time ever. Smartphones are the next PCs, in the minds of many analysts. With the advent of super fast 4G networks, and more powerful processors, the needs for laptops in particular has began to fad. PCs are also hurt by the fact that smartphone users, particularly those with Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhones, have access to tens upon tens of thousands of apps created to make smartphones more useful, and more entertaining.
Vendors shipped 158.5 million smart phones in Q4 2011, up 57% on the 101.2 million units shipped in Q4 2010. This bumper quarter took total global shipments for the whole of 2011 to 487.7 million units, up 63% on the 299.7 million smart phones shipped throughout 2010. By comparison, the global client PC market grew 15% in 2011 to 414.6 million units, with 274% growth in pad shipments. Pads accounted for 15% of all client PC shipments in 2011.