ARM as a primary architecture

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at
Fri Mar 23 02:59:28 UTC 2012

Przemek Klosowski wrote:
> The number of desktops has been flat for last 7 years.

So first of all, as you pointed out yourself, this is not "the number of 
desktop", but the number of NEW desktops shipped.

The numbers have been "flat" in that the growth in shipments has slowed 
down. But they're still growing! This confirms that computers are just not 
going away any time soon. Even after all these years, there's still 
increasing demand for computers, the market is not saturated yet.

As for why there are (assuming the projections they made for 2011 and 2012 
are actually accurate – we need more recent data!) more smartphones being 
sold than computers, there are several very plausible explanations for that:
* A computer is often a per-household device. A cellphone is per person, or 
even multiple devices per person (e.g. multiple phones with different 
contracts, or a phone and a tablet, etc.). So the total number is 
necessarily going to be larger without there being more users.
* The mobile devices are in their fastest technological growth phase right 
now, so they're simply replaced more often than computers, which translates 
into more shipments. There are also other incentives for frequent 
replacement, such as contract+smartphone bundle offers.
* There are many people who don't have a smartphone yet, whereas the market 
for computers is already significantly saturated. That doesn't imply that 
the people who are now obtaining a smartphone are discarding their computer.

Overall, the graphic shows a very selective set of statistics to make a 
specific point (the same you're trying to make) and it's not clear at all 
that it's making the big picture. (For example, their "devices in use" 
timeline gives data for computers in 1993 and 2008, but their 2020 
projection is only given for mobile devices and not for computers. Plus, if 
the projection is made only based on the current trend for shipments, 
ignoring both market saturation and decommissioned devices, it's very 
unlikely to be accurate.)

And another important factor to consider is that not all those mobile 
devices are suitable to run Fedora on, either due to inherent hardware 
limitations or due to artificial digital restrictions (DRM).

        Kevin Kofler

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