A pair of reports released this week indicate that we are in the midst of a radical shift in the way vendors design and target their platforms, indicating a move away from conventional design strategies.
According to figures from IDC, tablets are getting smaller as users have expressed a preference for sub-8in form factors. Citing a usage model that focuses on portability and does not require a large screen, researchers see the small-screen tablet space selling strong with consumers.
It's no secret that the growth in tablets has come at the expense of the larger PC market. With customers more interested in buying tablets than notebooks or desktop, vendors have recorded a drop in traditional PC sales.
But in addition to cutting sales, analysts also see tablets helping to change the way PC vendors design and build their systems. Research firm IHS noted that on average, PC makers are putting less DRAM in their systems than they have in years past.
This could indicate a drop in the hardware demands and cloud computing and web-based applications shift the having lifting from the client to the server side.
The primary driver of that model, again, is the tablet. Users with access to mobile networks and preference for portability have shifted the balance between lightweight designs and performance, making the later less of a concern in large part.
While the reports offer just a small fraction of the overall picture, they seem to point towards a larger trend in which portability and efficiency are paramount and the raw horsepower gains which have driven system design in recent years are taking the back seat.
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