Will MobilePhones Replace Standard Computers in the Future?
As of 2010,over 63% of Americans owned a Smartphone according to a studyconducted by Comscore(Bonnington, 2015). Over the recent few years, the phone market has seen a surge in thenumber of devices simulating the working of a computer. They includesmartphones, iPads, iPhones, and Tablets. Smartphones come withseveral benefits such as internet connectivity from almost everycorner of the world, GPS, face recognition, words and signstranslations, and Google map, among others. However, smartphonessuffer several hurdles as a result of their miniature sizes thatlimit their ability to multitask and discomfort when typing largedocuments, making it hard for them to simulate a computer experiencecompletely. This paper holds that mobile phones will not replacestandard computers or laptops in the near future due to certainlimitations such as the size and performance of these devices.
Only a fewyears ago, computers were reserved for certain tasks such as storingmassive data, running complicated programs, computing complexmathematical problems, and connecting to the internet. Besides, a fewyears ago, what modern smartphones can do was unfathomable in termsof battery life, storage capacity, and processing power. Consequently, Arthur (2010) reports that in 2010, 85 millioncomputers were purchased compared to 55 milllion smartphones.However, in 2011, Arthur reports that the ratio of computers versussmartphones bought stood at 82:100. The advancement in the smartphonetechnology has made many people believe that in the near future theywill replace the standard computers.
First, amobile phone is way too small for a user to browse comfortably andthis limit the much an individual can do with it. With someapplications, individuals can perform limited tasks with theirsmartphones. For example, one can use Google docs to write a newsreport. However, it becomes a daunting task when one has to writehuge content using a smartphone due to their miniature screens andkeyboards. Besides, while one can reply an email with a shortmessage using their smartphone, it becomes rather hard when thecontent of the message is large. As such, according to Smith (2013) apoll found that 2300 adults who owned a computer and a smartphonerelied on their computers to read 90% of their emails and left 87% ofthe non-engaging tasks such as instant messaging to smartphones.The problem with writing huge content using a smartphone is when onewants to make certain adjustments to their document such as spellingmistakes as a result of the small screen and keyboard.
Some maycounter-argue that there are certain mobile phones that are createdwith a consumer that prefer a real keyboard in mind. Bonnington(2015) gives an example of a Blackberry that contains a relatively large screen and keyboardthat is akin to that found on a standard computer but smaller insize. Besides, one may argue that there exist smartphones with aslide out keyboard that contains actual keys that one can press whendoing data entry.
Inrebuttal, the biggest mobile phone or tablet that is out on themarket is about 13 inches. Although that is the same size as aregular standard computer, the lack of a keyboard and full control ofthe screen makes it hard for one to write massive contents using asmartphone. It means that if a person is to handle a heavy writingtask, they will be prompted to acquire an external keyboard dock thatwill, in turn, come with a display. Thus, one will end up with twoseparate devices, yet the memory capacity and performance of thesmartphone will remain the same. Besides, two-finger typing is achallenge for individuals with fat and fidgeting fingers such as theelderly, making their typing slower and therefore, unfavorable.
Secondly, astandard computer is more powerful than a mobile phone. Due to thelarge storage capacity and high processing power, standard computerscan accommodate numerous applications and hardware. According toSmith (2013), while most of the smartphones can do web browsing,photo editing, YouTube streaming, the experience will never besimilar to that of a standard computer. For instance, Smith (2013)argues that the processors for ARM smartphone and an Intelx86 computerdiffer substantially in regard to performance. For instance, astandard Intel Core i5 laptop’s processor functions eight timesfaster compared to its equivalent smartphone (Smith, 2013).Additionally, according to Techadvisory (2013),processorsgenerate heat as they run. However, considering the size of a phone,the heat coming from their processors gets amplified and canseriously damage the internal components as some can even melt down.As such, the manufacturers of smartphone have to limit the phone’sspeed to avoid damage to the internal components. For this reason,even with similar specifications, a smartphone’s processor and thatof a standard computer differs in terms of performance.
Some maycounter-argue that the mobile phone application market is growingexponentially. For instance,Bonnington (2015) arguesthat in future, high-end smartphones are expected to handle taskssuch as 4K streaming, seamless multi-tasking, and immersive virtualreality gaming. The advancement in the CPU technology will facilitatethese tasks. For instance, the ARM has come up with a new CPU thatprovides for a 50 times increase in performance as compared to thechips used five years ago. Besides, these chips will consume 75% lessenergy compared to their predecessors(Bonnington, 2015).As such, these phones can handle complex tasks such as online 3-Dgaming making standard computer obsolete. Bonnington (2015) alsoreports that Apple’s A8 chip found in iPhone 6, when compared tothe one in the initial iPhone, is 50 times faster. Besides, it has aGPU that is 84 times faster than that contained in its predecessor.Seeing the current advancements in the smartphone technology, somepeople feel that mobile phones are likely to replace standardcomputers in the near future.
To them Isay, no matter how powerful or simplified the programs are, themobile phone is unable to match the software and hardware of astandard computer. While smartphones may have even betterspecification compared to standard computers, the fact that they haveto remain portable and serve the user for relatively long hours makeit hard for them to replace the computers. Smith (2013) says that asmartphone measure its idle energy consumption by milliwatts andfrom the way it is manufactured, it is unable to draw more than 3times watt at a load. This enables a smartphone such as Galaxy S4 tolast for close to eleven hours when fully charged, but when installedwith similar applications and hardware as a standard computer, itcannot last more than an hour.
Thirdly,standard computers allow the users to multitask more easily whencompared to mobile phones. With a standard computer, one can openmultiple applications and run them concurrently.For example, one can be typing an MS Word document, but develops theneed to insert an image that may require another program such as MSExcel or Spreadsheet. Besides, with a standard computer one can openan almost limitless number of tabs when surfing the internet andswitch from one tab to another without a struggle. As such, severalprograms can run concurrently when using a standard computersomething that is not possible with smartphones
Some maycounter-argue that some mobile phones have certain features thatallow the users to multitask. For example, the Apple iOS multi-touchthat runs the Apple’s iPad, iPod, iPhone contains multi-taskingoperating systems(Rajan, 2015). With such a smartphone, by just tapping on the screen a program opensand pinching one`s finger together enlarges or minimizes an image.The other aspect of the Apple iOS multi-touch smartphones is that onecan change pages by just swiping the fingers across the screen.
To them Isay, although the features on the mobile phone allow the users tomultitask, there is no way it will allow the users to fully reachtheir potential of multitasking. For example, what if a person wantsto transcribe the content of a YouTube video into a Word document?This is a daunting task when a smartphone is used, but is arelatively easy when one has a standard computer. All one need is tominimize the webpage that contains the video leaving the rest of thescreen for typing only.
My point iswhile smartphone technology has seen them replicate most taskstraditionally reserved for the standard computer, there will nevercome a time when they will completely replace them. It is undeniablethat modern smartphones have high storage capacity, processing powerand can accommodate more complex applications and hardware, but thecomputer-user experience will remain unattainable. In fact, trying tomake smartphone replicate the computer experience will beat theiressence portability and longer battery life. For instance, trying tomake a smartphone conducive for individuals who require highperformance and full keyboard will render the smartphones notportable.
Inconclusion, although mobile phones are simpler and portable, theirsizes and processors’ strength is something that makes themincomparable to a standard computer. Certain websites and games arenot supported on the mobile phone due to a slow processor and a smallscreen than necessary. Besides, multitasking is troublesome with thesmall screen and keyboard. Therefore, the reasons above prove myclaim that mobile phones will not replace standard computers due tothe few limitations stated above.Instead of trying to make smartphones replace the standard computer,it would be better if each is improved to serve the different user`sneeds better.
Arthur, C.(2011). “How the Smartphone is killing the PC.” Accessed fromhttps://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/jun/05/smartphones-killing-pc
Bonnington, N. (2015). "InLess Than Two years, A Smartphone Could be Your Only Computer."http://www.wired.com/2015/02/smartphone-only-computer/
Rajan, N. (2015). "Forgetthe Specs: The Smartphones can’t replace your PC at Work, andhere`s why."http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/gadgets/forget-the-specs-the-smartphone-cant-replace-your-pc-at-work-and-heres-why/
Smith, M. (2013). "Why YourSmartphone Won`t Be Your Next PC."http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/why-your-smartphone-wont-be-your-next-pc/#:Lq3CbvK9nJAU7A
Smith. N. (2013). "Is That aComputer in Your Pocket?"http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/3691-smartphone-vs-computer-use.html
Techadvisory.(2013). “Processors: Computer Vs Mobile.”http://www.techadvisory.org/2013/12/processors-computer-vs-mobile/