The IPad’s disruption of PC & DRAM chip sales, and what it means for UX practice

Posted on December 5, 2011 by - Mobile, Mobile First, Usability, User Experience

The movement towards mobile and tablet technology is moving along much more quickly than I, (and most PC and DRAM manufacturers) imagined.  I saw this on the Apple Insider blog and it blew my mind:

In the last calendar quarter, Apple shipped 11.1 million iPads, which not only expanded the computing market with less need for DRAM, but also held back sales of conventional PCs. Apple actually sold more iPads than rival Dell sold in all its PCs together (10.6 million).

That statistic is staggering, and further proof that those of us in the UX universe need to be prepared for this shift in how users are getting their information.  Obviously Luke Wroblewski, Brad Frost and others have been beating the “mobile first / future friendly” mantra for awhile now, but every day it’s becoming clearer just how prescient they were about this sea change.

Wikipedia NO PC image.

Image via Wikipedia

In the same post on Apple Insider Daniel Eran Dilger cites a Bloomberg report that indicates DRAM chipmakers have lost an estimated $14 billion over the last three years on DRAM chip sales for PCs, and an additional estimated $37 billion invested in DRAM factory expansions in expectation of continued growth in PC sales.

To keep from suffering the same fate as DRAM chip makers I think it behooves every UX practitioner to seriously think about, plan for and learn as much as possible about the implications of this major shift in how most users are going to be receiving information.  We should also be thinking about what it means for our own projects/products/services, but also what it means for the UX community as a whole and what we can do to make this change less painful, stressful and confusing.

Feel free to share your ideas about how you’re dealing with the shift from desktop to mobile/tablet (and the inevitiable shift to a myriad of connected devices in the very near future).

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