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Japanese Trends Predict Future Without PCs
Will we find other ways to watch television?
by KathrynV 11:30AM Sunday Nov 04 2007 Tipped by FFH5 See Profile
Japan is one of the countries that eyes often turn to when considering the future trends of technology. What people are finding when they look to the country today is that there is a trend towards decreased interest in PCs. Changes in technology have made it so that people are far more interested in spending their money on mobile gadgets which have video capability and high speed Internet connectivity.
“Japan's PC market is already shrinking, leading analysts to wonder whether Japan will become the first major market to see a decline in personal computer use some 25 years after it revolutionized household electronics — and whether this could be the picture of things to come in other countries.”
Sales of both desktops and laptops in Japan have declined consistently over the last five quarters. However it may be jumping the gun to think that the same thing will happen in the United States. The trend in Japan seems to be to convert all Internet to small mobile devices while moving video-viewing over to large flat screen televisions. With the heavy importance placed on watching video online right now, it’s unlikely that Americans are going to be switching back to home TVs anytime soon. On the other hand, Larry Roberts (who helped create the Internet) says it isn’t designed for watching television and that Internet changes need to take place soon ... so perhaps the trend isn’t so impossible.

topics flat nest 
page: 1 · 2

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

Santa Cruz, CA


There still using the pc, its just a lot smaller, and called a PDA or a smartphone.

Aw Man
Annapolis, MD
·Verizon FiOS

Re: BullS

From the consumer side, I could maybe see where the prediction is going. But to say 'no PCs' is ridiculous. I didn't RTFA, so unless they've got this qualifier in there already, there will still and always be a large market for developers. No one is going to want to develop sites, applications, and other multimedia on tiny handhelds!

Until VR or holographic interfaces are devised, PCs are not entirely 'going away'.

On the other hand, if a small mobile device can be connected to a KVM, then ok...maybe...but then is that really not a 'PC'? Semantics...?

Bloom County

Re: BullS

I can't use cells and PDA's to view web sites or email - screen is just too small for my crappy eyes. I would rather have a day planner for appts - thankfully I don't have many and instead keep track on Outlook.


Yeah, OR they ALLREADY HAVE a PC. They just dont feel like spending $3000 for a brand new one when all they do is check their email with it.

If love can kill hate can also save


could be a trend in areas will good celluar networks

would need a better cell phone network before this would happen in other parts of the world

Res Firma Mitescere Nescit
Stepford, CA

Re: could be a trend in areas will good celluar networks

said by ftthz:

would need a better cell phone network before this would happen in other parts of the world
I would also add... and a broadband policy in the U.S. on par with the rest of the world, but I don't ever see that happening either, so as long as the U.S. pays the most $$$$$$$$$ for the least k/bps, we'll always have big clunky, pcs and the rest of the world will have wrist watch sized pcs with superior connectivity. We are the only developed country in the world in last place for broadband just like we are the only developed country whose healthcare is behind the rest of the world.
The Toll

Let's Go Flyers!



Oh nice!!

So, that means the Japanese now can use their mobile gadgets to code in Pearl, prepare their balance sheet, play Crysis, and download stuff on P2P?? Truly amazing...

Ajax, ON
·TekSavvy DSL

16 months isn't that long...

4 Quarters are really not that long. In the past, we have seen a huge spurt of PC growth as more people got computers, or upgraded really old ones.

PC's are at the point now, where a majority of them will serve the normal user for years. If you just do E-mail / Office Work / basic Video Conference, you do not need a new computer ever 1 year 4 months.

PC sales has always been on a cycle. The PC Speeds are increasing, but not at a pace that makes the home user "need" to keep up.

Mobile devices will continue to grow, but home PC's will contue to sell. Majority will most likely be laptops / game systems as the PC Home Appliance movement continues.
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Tavistock NJ

U.S. starting to see trend as well

PC functionality is being absorbed by game consoles and home media centers for in home use and for video, music, and game playing on the internet that need big screen monitors.

And on the road, laptops are being replaced by smart phones; iPod Touch like devices; and other small multi-media devices with small screens.

While it may take a decade or more, the traditional desktop and laptop personal computer with a "do every type of application" functionality is being replaced by more function specific devices.
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United We Stand, Divided We Fall

Santa Cruz, CA

2 edits

Re: U.S. starting to see trend as well

I would still consider all those things a PC.
It's true that the desktop computer is much less popular now. Most people I know that arent gamers, use a laptop now, and even some gamers use a laptop sometimes.

In 1999 I was at the comdex keynote speech for Bill Gates. What I remember was him saying that the desktop was going away and we would use much smaller specialized devices.

They summarized the speech, its not exactly what he said there ... »www.microsoft.com/misc/features/···illg.htm
Its pretty close to what he predicted, but not exactly.
Theres still a market for the desktop machines in that any real work that is done in industry, web, graphics, servers, HTPC's, etc

I like having a large widescreen and a real keyboard/mouse.
‘Do ye, quieting in your bosoms your strong hearts,
Who of many good things have had your fill even to surfeit,
With what is moderate nourish your mighty desire; for neither will
We yield, nor shall you have all else as you wish.’

Milford, NH
·G4 Communications
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·Hollis Hosting

1 recommendation

We are seeing the fulfillment of the old Sun mantra "the network is the computer."

PCs started out as standalone computing devices. The proliferation of low cost wired and wireless networking has changed the balance where now PCs are often used as glorified terminals accessing remote data.

Usage and packaging will continue to evolve. As others have mentioned the PC is a fantastic general purpose computer. There are many other uses that do not require general purpose and function better as a purpose built device.

I think decline in PC market growth has less to do with it being eclipsed by other devices then market saturation in industrialized countries. Our home is networked and we have one (at least) PC per person with another dedicated as a server. It will be quite a while before we need to purchase another one.

Willseyville, NY

Re: U.S. starting to see trend as well

I expect the issue however, is that there is still a huge advantage to having one device vs many. I mean, look at smartphones - they are more or less a tiny PC. You can't mean to tell me most users would want to carry a ZipIM device (IIRC the name, does AIM wirelessly), a camera, a PALM PDA, an e-mail device, a phone, a GPS and an e-book reader for instance. No, most people will take a bunch of that combined into a Blackberry or iPhone or whatever.

While consoles have remained big for gaming, I just haven't seen many people doing wordprocessing on them. And towards general purpose, how many people have a PS2 or PS3 and dumped their extra DVD Player? Or didn't buy a Blu-Ray player?

How many people use an X-Box for both games and XBMC as opposed to yet another device for streaming video? Or for the build it yourself, got a PC with MYTHTV and more...

Finally, I actually think this is just a shift - Most people have dropped "word processors" for computers + editor of choice, many like keeping gaming on a console. Not too many have moved to WebTV or the like for browsing/email.

However, it is true that many households have one pc per person, possibly a server, and sometimes laptops too. Until we open up China/India or whatever more, the developed world has pretty much reached a saturation point, and PC sales will be more like Washing Machine sales from now on, then a growth industry.
Opera 9.23(Build 8808); Windows XP Pro SP2;Athlon 64 X2 4600+; 2.5GB PC3200 DDR; 1M/128k DSL; NOD32(Version 2.5.25); Outpost Pro 3;Proxomitron 4.5j Grypen 5/23/07(Opera mod),GPG ID:0x0A1C6EE3

microserf v1



The people who are buying computers for the wrong reasons will be served by newer, cheaper, channel specific products. That's it.

A PC is a general purpose computing machine.


Re: ASICs R Us

said by microserf v1 :

The people who are buying computers for the wrong reasons will be served by newer, cheaper, channel specific products. That's it.

The wrong reasons?PC ownership is a moral thing now?

microserf v1


Re: ASICs R Us

said by madrhino:

PC ownership is a moral thing now?

Mark for moderation
Michigan City, IN


I don't know if anyone remembers the movie, "Lost in space" maybe this quote will jog your memory back, "Danger Will Robinson, Danger!

But sonys new bendable tv that it showed off some time ago reminded me of that video diary that "Penny" had in the movie.


Things will probably be something like that in the future and not a "big clunky computer on your desk or lap"
"I am the worst president in US history, I'm either stupid or dumb most of the time, but people still believe me." George W. Bush


Re: Sony

This remind me of the Apple skit on Saturday Night Live I think it was. They had an Ipod and they kept shrinking it down to the Ipod Inviso LOL. Soon, our stuff will just be so small, which isn't always a good thing. I know most of us tend to lose our cell phones around the house. Imagine losing your TV behind the couch =X. Anyhow, I do think this technology is cool and does have practical uses in making monitors and laptop screens less bulky.
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Bellingham, WA

Will we find other ways to watch television?

I certainly hope so, because I detest watching TV or movies on my PC.

Bonne Terre, MO

Re: Will we find other ways to watch television?

said by b10010011:

I certainly hope so, because I detest watching TV or movies on my PC.
I'm the opposite, i hate watching them on TVs. Like watching on pc.

Honoring The Captain
Beautiful NJ
·Verizon Online DSL

1 recommendation

Just Wait....

...until all those who are enamored of their tiny devices start hitting their forties, and their eyes start to change. When they realize they can't see those tiny images anymore, they'll be heading back to the wide screen computers in droves. LOL!
Life is simply one damned thing after another.
Hudson, FL

Re: Just Wait....

your'e right already have!!!!!....lol!

Avon, OH


i am not going to quint and push the rest of the family to teh side so i cna use the family tv to reply to dslreports and reply to emails.
3 free for you/3 free for me: Free Stock Trades : PM Me

Proud Libertarian Conservative
NYC Metro

2 recommendations


Perhaps it is because the average person has reached a level in processing speed with their home PCs that it doesn't make sense to go buy a new one like was the norm for so many years.

For most people, a PC can now last a lot longer than it did a decade ago because of the power that these computers now contain.


Can you do Blu?
Hercules, CA

1 edit

1 recommendation

Cell? PDA?

No, I just don't see it.
Screens are just too small. People everywhere are still wanting video/websurfing/pr0n/etc...
Staring at a 2" or 3" screen aint going to cut it.

Pick a site online, try and look at it on a PDA or cell screen.
it's either cut off and scrolling is involved, or it has been "converted" to fit the puny screen you're using.

Screen resolution just aint happening either.
Video(other than Youtube) on something like an iPhone or a PSP is bearable, but it still sucks!

You can only shrink some things so far before they get too small.

Cell phones were getting pretty freakin small, but people started wanting to view images and video - guess what!
They started getting bigger to accommodate the larger screen.
Still aint something *I* would want to stare at for 10/30/60/120 minutes.

Ultra-portable computers(Sony VAIO UX Series) have a 4.5" screen... and that's even kinda small!
Think outside the Fox... Opera

Milford, NH

1 recommendation

Re: Cell? PDA?

agree - until bionic implants become common finger size and eyeballs (especially old eyeballs) limit useful device size.




Larry Roberts says...

"[the Internet] isn’t designed for watching television."

Right. It was designed for the delivery and exchange of text documents. That's all we still use it for now, right?

Change happens.

Weapons Of Masturbation

A More Fundamental Issue

What sells in Japan may or may not sell in the United States: there are a number of differences between the Japanese and US/Canadian markets.

- Dan
"That which does not kill us makes us stranger."


2 recommendations

Cultural differences

If your apartment was the size of my bathroom and cost 4 times as much you wouldn't want a PC either. You would want something that was almost wearable and entirely portable because you would not want to stay in your apartment at all.

So for the mobile nation that is Japan the PDA/Smart phone makes a lot of sense.

The Devil made me do it

Oxford, MI
·AT&T U-Verse

1 recommendation

The laptop will "dominate for years"

My laptop is essential to me ! It only cost $1,200 and is a Del B130 that is maxed out. What a bargin to do all my computing requirements....The PDA and smart phone are no where near as flexible as my laptop. Best yet ..I don't have to "sync" my laptop with systems at work because it is already in sync !
- I don't squander my time and money on cellphone junk
- I watch TV on my Samsung 42" HD LCD TV
- I listen to "real" music on my 20 year old stereo system
- I get marvelous pictures on my 7-megapixel camera

I can also put this all on my Laptop, too ..!
Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness and they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy but they become legend.




I think it has something do with the fact that there are now less Japanese today then there were five quarters ago, and that there will be even less Japanese five quarters from now.

Japan population 'set to plummet'

Japan birth rate shows rare rise

But nice guesses, everyone else.

Don't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus

Cheyenne, WY

1 edit

Oh don't you know.....BPL

Hillary looking at bags of money donated to her war chest by the BPL industary
According to the FFC BPL will make all of this possible. BPL is the great hope of the United States.
Eat pork chops for Allah!

Salem, OR

1 edit

Desktop PCs Will Always Have an Advantage

There is always one thing that will give the advantage to desktop PCs that the small hand held devices and to a certain extent laptops, don't have.

Desktop PCs are the most scalable computer devices on the market today. Also, it is easy to replace and/or upgrade computer components in a Desktop PC, provided that it is a IBM Clone. Not to mention the choices of computer hardware components are pretty vast and varied. A desktop PC will always be the better investment because they have a longer life cycle compared to the mobile gadgets and electronic devices, laptops, and consoles.

The only thing that even comes close in scalability and upgrade ability of a desktop PC is a laptop PC, but even then you are limited to RAM, battery, and hard drive and optical drive upgrades for the most part. Mobile gadgets, consoles, and electronic devices the only way to upgrade is to buy the better unit model.

Don't expect desktop PCs to disappear anytime soon folks!
True Happiness Must Come From Within

Brooklyn, NY
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

for more info

If you'd like to look into the trend in UMPC computing, check out:


Of course we're already seeing the line blurred with inclusion of WIFI into Portable Media Players.. but the UMPC's need to have the prices come down to around where laptops exist for it to hit the mainstream user. PMP's and UMPC's need to do many more of the things we already do on PC's for them to become true replacements. Not all of that is easy or possible, just yet.

Tampa, FL

oh well

Maybe it's just that people are not compelled to purchase a new pc every two years any more, they are gettin more mileage out of there current pc's.

In any event, this whole Internet fad is almost over anyway.

Braintree, MA

Re: oh well

said by tomkb:

Maybe it's just that people are not compelled to purchase a new pc every two years any more, they are getting more mileage out of there current pc's.

In any event, this whole Internet fad is almost over anyway.
Im not sure how you can call the Internet a fad. Thats like calling TV a fad. Internet has become a major source of information and entertainment. Now websites within the Internet I can see come and go as fads, but to call the Internet as a whole a fad is ridiculous.

Tampa, FL

Re: oh well

Honestly, I'm surprised it has lasted this long. Time will tell which one of us is right.