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Earlier this year, Ben Bajarin, principal analyst at Creative Strategies, wrote an essay (http://macte.ch/YP2WT) in which he says that we're entering the true era of personal computing rather than entering the "post-PC" era.
He's right -- and that's why the iPad should be considered a "real" personal computer when research groups such as IDC and Gartner calculate market share. According to "Webster's Dictionary," the word "personal" means "relating to, or affecting, a particular person." What better fits that description than an iPhone, iPod or iPad -- not to mention the Mac?
It seems to me that there are now three categories of personal computers: desktops, laptops and tablets/ultramobile devices. And all three will coexist.
As Bajarin notes: ".... tablets in particular are not replacing PCs, at least not in the foreseeable future. Rather what is happening is tasks or jobs are being replaced. Things that once were done primarily on the notebook or desktop form factor are now being done largely on devices like tablets and other form factors. In essence the best way to think about this is that time is shifting from notebooks or desktops to tablets and smart phones.
"Each form factor has a role to play. Based on the list of computing tasks consumers perform, the form factors play a role in making those jobs easier to accomplish. In this environment what happens is that consumers spread their time across a number of form factors to accomplish computing holistically. Before one 'personal computer' monopolized consumers' time. Now time is shared between computing devices in the ecosystem in order to accomplish a wider range of computing tasks."
-- Dennis Sellers