A very interesting article about the role of the PC diminishing in Japan, in favor of personal gadgets such as mobile devices.

The same will happen in the U.S. and other parts of the world. In many parts of the world, cellphones already provide the needed connectivity to the Internet. Overtime all the daily (connected) functions such as email, downloading music, collaboration, and so on will be available on the handset to most of the people, and cheaper and more convenient than using a PC; it is clear why the role of PCs will diminish. And PC manufacturers must take notice of this, and adapt.

PC’s role is diminishing:

The PC’s role in Japanese homes is diminishing, as its once-awesome monopoly on processing power is encroached by gadgets such as smart phones that act like pocket-size computers, advanced Internet-connected game consoles, and digital video recorders with terabytes of memory.

Overall PC shipments in Japan have fallen for five consecutive quarters, the first ever drawn-out decline in PC sales in a key market, according to IDC. The trend shows no signs of letting up: In the second quarter of 2007, desktops fell 4.8 percent and laptops 3.1 percent.

PC’s being replaced by…

Millions download music directly to their mobiles, and many more use their handsets for online shopping and to play games. Digital cameras connect directly to printers and high-definition TVs for viewing photos, bypassing PCs altogether. Movies now download straight to TVs.

More than 50 percent of Japanese send e-mail and browse the Internet from their mobile phones, according to a 2006 survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The same survey found that 30 percent of people with e-mail on their phones used PC-based e-mail less, including 4 percent who said they had stopped sending e-mails from PCs completely.

The fastest growing social networking site here, Mobagay Town, is designed exclusively for cell phones. Other networking sites like mixi, Facebook and MySpace can all be accessed and updated from handsets, as can the video-sharing site YouTube.

Read the complete article PCs being pushed aside in Japan (Yahoo! News)