Smartphones and Tablets to Take Over in 2011, Researchers SayBy STEVE LOHR, Dec 2010The research firm IDC predicts that in 2011, computing’s third major technology wave will become mainstream, when computers held in one’s hand — smartphones and tablets — really take over and start putting personal computers in the rearview mirror.Next year, the research firm says in a report published Thursday, there will be 330 million smartphones sold worldwide and 42 million media tablets. Tablet sales are expected to more than double next year, and to keep climbing, “breezing by netbooks, the phenomenon of two years ago,” said Frank Gens, chief analyst for IDC.“The PC-centric era is over,” the IDC report says. Within 18 months, it forecasts, non-PC devices capable of running software applications will outsell PCs. In tablets, IDC adds, Apple’s iPad will remain the leader, but lower-cost tablets will begin making inroads, especially as demand for tablets really takes off in emerging markets.
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