Systematic Shift: There are more touchscreen computer users in the world than keyboard/mouse computer users.

There’s a frequent debate about if an iPad (or any tablet) is a “desktop killer”. People (power users) often say “well I can’t use Photoshop on an iPad”. Or “I’m a video editor/programmer and need more processing power”. Or “I need three monitors”. Or “the accounting software that I use doesn’t run on tablets”.

But most of these could/should be followed by the word “yet“. There is definitely a perceived gap in value. People just don’t pay $199 for mobile software (yet) so the economies aren’t there for developers to support the platform, but Benedict Evans writes that we’re looking at it completely backwards…

100m or so people are doing things on PCs now that can’t be done on tablets or smartphones. Some portion of those tasks will change and become possible on mobile, and some portion of them will remain restricted to PCs for a long time. But there are another 3bn people who were using PCs (but mostly sharing them) but who weren’t doing any of those things with them, and are now doing on mobile almost all of the stuff that they actually did do on PCs, plus a lot more. And, there’s another 2bn or so people whose first computer of any kind is or will be a smartphone. ‘Creation on PC, consumption on mobile’ seems like a singularly bad way to describe this: vastly more is being created on mobile now by vastly more people than was ever created on PCs.

There’s a lot more people who have NEVER/RARELY used a PC that have NO PROBLEM with a tablet/phone than there are who are *really* limited to a PC right now. Sure there are tasks that can be done quicker and easier with a keyboard/mouse, but there are also many which can be done faster/more accurately with a touchscreen device, and many people in the world can type faster on a phone than a physical keyboard.


Thanks to Dave Mark over at Loop Insight for sharing Benedict’s article the other day.